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Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Last week, I told about the number one. Today, I will tell about expressions using other numbers.
Some problems are difficult to solve. But there are a lot of number expressions that can help. For example, if we put two and two together, we might come up with the right answer. We know that two heads are better than one. It is always better to work with another person to solve a problem.
Sometimes there are no two ways about it. Some problems have only one solution. You cannot be of two minds over this.
But with any luck, we could solve the problem in two shakes of a lamb's tail. We could have our answers quickly and easily.
Sometimes we can kill two birds with one stone. That is, we can complete two goals with only one effort or action. But we must remember that two wrongs don't make a right. If someone does something bad to you, you should not do the same to him.
If you are going out with your girlfriend, or boyfriend, you do not want another friend to go along on your date. You can just say to your friend: two's company, three's a crowd.
When I was a young child in school, I had to learn the three R's. These important skills are reading, writing and arithmetic. These three words do not all start with the letter "R." But they have the sound of "R." My teachers used to give three cheers when I did well in math. They gave praise and approval for a job well done.
Some of my friends were confused and did not understand their schoolwork. They were at sixes and sevens. In fact, they did not care if they finished high school. They saw little difference between the two choices. Six of one, half a dozen the other – that was their position. But they were really happy when they completed their studies and graduated from high school. They were in seventh heaven. They were on cloud nine.
Nine times out of ten, students who do well in school find good jobs. Some work in an office doing the same things every day at nine-to-five jobs. You do not have to dress to the nines, or wear your best clothes, for this kind of work.
Last year, one of my friends applied for a better job at her office. I did not think she would get it. I thought she had a hundred to one shot at the job. Other people at her office thought her chances were a million to one. One reason was that she had been caught catching forty winks at the office. She slept at her desk for short periods during the day. But her supervisor appointed her to the new job at the eleventh hour -- at the very last minute. I guess her lucky number came up.
This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Jill Moss. I'm Faith Lapidus.
一些问题很难解决，但是不少数字短语可以起到作用。比如，我们根据事实推断（put two and two together）就能找出正确答案。我们还知道三个臭皮匠，顶过个诸葛亮（two heads are better than one）。和其他人合作往往更容易解决问题。
有时候你别无他选（there are no two ways about it）。一些问题只有一种解决方案，你不能犹豫不决（be of two minds） 。
但是，我们可能很幸运地马上（in two shakes of a lamb's tail）解决了问题。我们能轻而易举地得到答案。
有时候我们可能一石二鸟（kill two birds with one stone），也就是说我们可以通过一次努力完成两个目标。但是，我们必须记住负负不得正（two wrongs don't make a right）。如果有人伤害了你，你不要冤冤相报。
如果你和女朋友或男朋友出去，你不想其他朋友参加你的约会，你可以告诉你的朋友：“两人成伴三人不欢（two's company, three's a crowd）。”
上学的时候，我必须学会三个非常重要的技能“R”：阅读、写作和算术。这三个词并非以“R”开头，但是发音包含 “R”。 我数学做得好的时候，老师常常为我鼓掌（give three cheers）。人们经常为圆满完成工作予以表扬和肯定。
我有些朋友不非常迷糊，不懂课业。他们总是乱七八糟的(at sixes and sevens)，事实上，他们并不关心能否顺利高中毕业，他们觉得差别不大，半斤八两（Six of one, half a dozen the other）。但是当他们完成学业并顺利高中毕业还是很高兴（in seventh heaven）、欣喜若狂（on cloud nine）。
在学校表现好的学生十有八九(Nine times out of ten)都能找到好工作，一些在办公室里每天朝九晚五(nine-to-five)地做着相同的事情，这种工作不必盛装打扮（dress to the nines）。
去年，我有个朋友在公司申请了办公室更好的工作，我认为她只有百分之一的机会（had a hundred to one shot）得到这份工作。其他人更认为希望微乎其微。原因之一是她在办公室里打盹儿（forty winks）被当场抓住。但是她的上司在最后关头（at the eleventh hour）委任了她这项新工作。我猜她是中彩了(lucky number came up)。
这就是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故，作者Jill Moss，我是Faith Lapidus。