LL: Don't worry, Li Hua. You'll figure it out. It takes a little while to learn the ropes at a new job.
LH: Larry, 你在说什么啊？To learn the ropes? 我是在图书馆工作，又不是在体育馆里呢。我干吗要学习拉绳索。再说，图书馆里也没有绳索啊？
LL: No (laughing). "To learn the ropes" is an expression. It means to learn how to do something, especially something related to work.
LH: 噢，to learn the ropes就是学会怎么做某件事，特别是指跟工作有关的事。这个用法好奇怪噢。你知道这个常用语是怎么来的吗？
LL: The expression is related to sailing. When sailors first started working on a boat, they had to learn which ropes were attached to which sails.
LL: Don't worry, Li Hua. Everyone needs some time to learn the ropes at a new job. I'm sure your boss knows that.
LL: I'm sure you won't. When I started my most recent job, it took me about three weeks to learn the ropes.
LL: Of course, but no one minded because they knew that I was still learning the ropes.
LL: I don't have that excuse anymore, but my boss is still relatively understanding. He knows that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
LL: I would have told him to put a lid on it. After all, it's not your fault.
LH: Put a lid on it? Lid那不是盖子的意思吗？我要他盖盖子做什么？
LL: Telling someone to "put a lid on it" is the same as telling him or her to shut up.
LH: 什么！Put a lid on it就是叫人闭嘴？我可不能那样做，那是很不礼貌的！
LL: Well, it sounds as though he was being really rude to you.
LL: Yeah, you're probably right. It wouldn't be very professional to tell the guy to put a lid on it.
LL: If he does, you can give me a call and I'll come over and tell him to put a lid on it myself.
LL: That's a good idea.
今天李华学到两个常用语。一个是learn the ropes，就是学习，掌握诀窍的意思，通常是指工作方面的事。另一个常用语是put a lid on it，这是叫人闭嘴的意思。