M: Hey, Li Hua. How is your history project going?
M: Your computer crashed? Wow, that's a drag. Is there anything I can do to help?
M: If something is a "drag," that means it is negative or depressing. The fact that you lost your history project and will probably have to do it again is definitely a drag.
L: 原来a drag就是倒霉的、让人不高兴的事。我电脑坏了，把我明天要交的历史课报告全丢了。这可真是倒霉事。It's really a drag。
M: That's right. You want to know what else is a drag?
M: My computer is broken, too, so I can't let you use it to re-write your project. I sent it in to be fixed and I won't get it back until next week.
M: Maybe if you explain your situation to the professor, he'll give you some extra time. I'm sure he knows what a drag it is when your computer breaks down. It doesn't hurt to ask.
M: Li Hua, what did your professor say? Will he give you extra time to do the project over again?
L: 对呀，教授让我延期三天交卷。可是我怕重头开始再做一遍时间还是不够！What a drag!
M: Yeah, you do have to start from scratch. I'll help you as much as I can.
L: Start from what? 什么是start from scratch?
M: To start something from scratch means to start from the very beginning. You lost your entire project when your computer crashed, including your research, so now you have to start from scratch.
L: 噢， to start from scratch就是从头开始。我电脑坏了，所做的一切东西都丢了，所以，I have to start from scratch -- 从头开始啦！
M: That's right. You have to start your project from scratch. How can I help?
L: Michael, 你能帮我忙，那真是太好了。既然我得从头开始，那我得先去图书馆。你能帮我找书吗？
M: Sure. I'm happy to help. While we are walking, why don't you try and give me another example of "to start something from scratch".
L: 一面走路还要我给你举例子。你可抓得真紧哎！ 好吧，让我想想。要是我家房子被烧了，那我们不得不重新盖房子-- to build a new house from scratch. Right?
M: Yeah, that's right. That's not a very happy example though. It would be a real drag if your house burned down!
L: 对，这个例子倒有点倒霉了！好，再给你一个例子。要是我学画画，可是我从来没有学过，我就说：I am going to start from scratch。
M: Yes, you could. Hey, look, there's the library. I suppose we had better focus on your project now. You do have to start from scratch after all.
L: 对，我得集中力量从头来起。唉，真倒霉，it's such a drag!
今天李华学到了两个常用语。一个是：a drag, 意思是倒霉，不好的事。另一个是：to start something from scratch, 这是指从头开始。