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5 Common English Idioms

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Remember to click "CC" for subtitles. Here are 5 very common English idioms! These are expressions that are frequently used by native speakers in the present day. Even if you don't use them in your speech, it is important to understand a lot of idioms if you want you comprehension to reach an advanced level. These include: You can't have your cake and eat it too, it's a piece of cake, etc. For more English lessons, visit my channel, English with Max. All of the videos are free. These include free English vocabulary videos, English grammar videos, English pronunciation videos, English tips, and various other English lessons. This channel aims at helping people learn and improve their English - whether they have been learning English for a while or have recently started. You can also follow me here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EnglishWithMax/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/EnglishWithMax Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/englishwithmax/?hl=en
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Text Comments (176)
English with Max (1 year ago)
If you would like to add subtitles in your own language, please go here! https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?ref=player&v=jymvAyl-f-s
Oleg Jagga (1 year ago)
Uh, this one was challenging. Not only did I translate the lesson itself, but I also conveyed the spirit of it. Catch Russian subtitles.
Filomena Pecoraro (1 month ago)
You can’t have your cake and eat it too....in Italian could be ‘ you can’t have the barrel full (of wine) and the wife drunken’.....non si può avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca
English with Max (1 month ago)
Cool, grazie! :)
Rabee Motar (1 month ago)
Love you my teacher Rabee from Iraq
jose cortez (2 months ago)
iam, mexican miself but i never hear that saying before we also say no puedes chiflar y comer pinole. tha't got the same idea lol
jose cortez (1 month ago)
Yeap. Iwas thinking the same thing myself. you atención amazing And georgous .
English with Max (2 months ago)
It might only be used in Spain.
A.F. T.C. (2 months ago)
Max? It's that your name?.. With all respect,my contribution...,, just because I am learning with your accent.. Your example in spanish could be " no se puede estar en misa y en procesion(this is more in argentina)." another one..."no se puede chiflar y comer al mismo tiempo(you can not wistle and eat at the same time", also in portuguese...Querer que faça sol e chovendo também"(wanting a sunny day and rain also")...Thank you.
English with Max (2 months ago)
Yes, it is my name :). Thanks for that! Yes, I know there are different versions of that in different places :). I learnt Spanish in Spain.
neethu eldhose (2 months ago)
thanks..great teacher..kindly add more
neethu eldhose (2 months ago)
thank u mam
English with Max (2 months ago)
In a few weeks I'm going to start making videos again :).
Kim Thomas (2 months ago)
I can't have a cake and eat it too? Are you joking? Yes, I can have a cake and eat it too. I can have a cake with some milk and eat it too with some soda. Having a cake and eating it too is a piece of cake. (It's a silly joke, isn't it?)
English with Max (2 months ago)
Haha :). I think the expression itself is a little silly ;).
Kashif Ali Khan (3 months ago)
nice video mam keep it up
Kashif Ali Khan (3 months ago)
great
Snehal Hedau (3 months ago)
For some people, learning English is a piece of the cake.
Snehal Hedau (3 months ago)
I was having my dinner late at night. And to add insult to injury, the electricity went off!
Snehal Hedau (3 months ago)
English with Max Thank you for your nice feedback.
English with Max (3 months ago)
Yes, you can use it that way :) (provided having dinner late is something negative for you).
mpforeverunlimited (4 months ago)
I'm American, I don't know why I watch your videos 😂 English is my native language
mpforeverunlimited (4 months ago)
English with Max I think I started watching after that polyglot video. it was cool
English with Max (4 months ago)
Haha, I suppose I'm flattered 😄.
Youssef Mokadem (4 months ago)
Great
raad alhashimi (5 months ago)
You have got excellent pronunciation, I happy with it, thank you.
English with Max (5 months ago)
I'm glad you like it :).
ahmad ghorbanpour (8 months ago)
In persian, we say A mouthful larger than your mouth!
English with Max (8 months ago)
Haha, I like that!
Marcelo Santana (10 months ago)
you're beutiful teacher
English with Max (10 months ago)
That's very sweet of you.
manjit kaur (10 months ago)
You are awesome i like ur all videos n love it thnkyou so much
English with Max (10 months ago)
Thank you very much! I'm very glad you like them :).
aimanno everyday English (11 months ago)
Thanks for your efforts. You are incredible teacher. Nothing else to write home about.
English with Max (11 months ago)
Thanks very much again! :) :)
Oleg Jagga (1 year ago)
Не было печали -- купила бабка порося. There had been no sadness until an old lady bought a pig. This one is quite close to "to add insult to injury" but has not the exact meaning.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks for that! It's very different to the English one!
S1QuanA (1 year ago)
to add insult to injury = Salz in eine Wunde streuen (to sprinkle salt in a wound) [German] It's a piece of cake = es ist ein Zuckerschlecken ("it's like licking sugar" or "it's a bed of roses") [German]
English with Max (1 year ago)
Danke schön! I'd never "Zuckerschlecken" before - a new word for me!
Gustavo (1 year ago)
Hi Max, you make easy for us to learn english, thank you very much! I have a question, are Idioms same as cliches or are they different? Thanks, bye.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Gustav :). No, they're a bit different. A cliché is something that is considered overused and unoriginal. Here is a definition: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/cliche?q=clich%C3%A9
Priscilla Beline (1 year ago)
In portuguese we would say: "Você não pode ter as duas coisas ao mesmo tempo" Meaning: you cannot have both things at the same time. =)
English with Max (1 year ago)
Cool, thanks! (I'd love to learn Portuguese one day)
Long Nguyen (1 year ago)
Hi Max! How are you doing today? Can i change an idiom like that ( I can't have my cake and eat it too) instead of, You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Long Nguyen (1 year ago)
Thank you so much.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi! Yes, you can change it like that. It's more common to keep it general (you/one can't have your/one's cake...), but people sometimes change it.
Sundhari Selvarajoo (1 year ago)
Hi Max, I always thought the 5th idiom is "to add in salt to injury".. 😜 i learned something new today.. thank you 😊
English with Max (1 year ago)
Ah! That's "to rub salt in the wound" ;), which almost means the same thing!
Long Nguyen (1 year ago)
Hi Max! How are you? Good idioms, it often uses in daily conversation.good explained.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Long! I'm fine, thanks :). Yes, it's very useful to know idioms!
JPdynabook (1 year ago)
Hi, Max. Are your YouTube lessons nothing to write home about? Of course, not. They are definitely something to write home about.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks ;)
Long Nguyen (1 year ago)
Hi Max! nice to meet you, i'm from Norway and a new your fan
English with Max (1 year ago)
Nice to meet you too! And I'm happy to hear that :).
MOSIM KHAN (1 year ago)
i have been practicing my English with my friends from many different native countries, but still failed in telephonic interview
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi! This is also in response to your other comment. It's a good question, but unfortunately there's no easy answer. It's basically a question of practice, but there are exercises you can do, for example, shadowing and reading aloud by yourself. I plan to do some videos on English skills and fluency in the next couple of months. And don't worry, speaking on the phone is the hardest!
MOSIM KHAN (1 year ago)
can you give me some tips to speak English continuously?
1953emo (1 year ago)
Here, in Slovakia, if something is very easy, we have the idiom:"'it is a raspberry'. The idiom "to bite off .... chew" we express with something like this: 'to take a lot on one's cornus.'
1953emo (1 year ago)
Yes, we have a reasonable quantum of raspberries.
English with Max (1 year ago)
I see :). Do you have a lot of raspberries in Slovakia?
Wilfried Mathias (1 year ago)
In German there exist the expression: "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof" = literally: "I only understand station". That means "I don´t understand anything". By the way: Entiendo perfectamente tus explicaciones Max! Gracias por todo!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Oh yes, I remember hearing that expression in Germany, but I'd forgotten as it was years ago... It's a nice one :).Gracias a ti!
Bassel Hasan (1 year ago)
Where are hiding ? I miss your videos 😕
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks for your comment, Bassel :). I miss making them too! I'm hoping to start again in February.
EmeritusE (1 year ago)
"It's a piece of cake" and "It's a piece of piss", although slightly vulgar, virtually have the same meaning? That, I would have never guessed. Thank you for the insight! =)
English with Max (1 year ago)
No worries ;)
Juan Ángel (1 year ago)
More videos please! You're are amazing!
English with Max
Juan Ángel (1 year ago)
+English with Max You're welcome! You're really smart teacher I love the way that you teach...
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks for your encouragement, Juan! I hope to start making videos again next month!
Milorad Mladenovic (1 year ago)
Then what do you think of the expression/idiom which is: Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen.
Milorad Mladenovic (1 year ago)
hahaha what was on your mind to say by spelling that word
James (1 year ago)
Hi Max, could you please please do a video of how to pronounce "əʊ+ n" sound as in loan, own & stone and "au+n" sound as in town,down & sound ? I watched so many other youtubers videos and still have problem pronouncing them. When native speakers say those words, I can't hear the movement from "ʊ" to "n", and it seems like it has become a new sound, and I can't pronounce that sound, is it true that ʊ" &"n" together become a new sound or it is just my hearing problem. Many thanks in advance
James (1 year ago)
Thanks Max, you are amazing !It helps a lot.
English with Max (1 year ago)
I wouldn't say they become a new sound - they are two separate sounds said one after the other quite quickly. Don't worry, I know English vowels are hard! I don't know when I'll be able to do a video on it, but the websites I normally use for pronunciation (because there are audio files on these) are the following: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/loan https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/town I hope that helps!
Wilfried Mathias (1 year ago)
Excellent video! I absolutely like your explanation and also your clear voice and pronunciation.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks! :)
A M (1 year ago)
I leaned and enjoyed as well..thank you Mam.
English with Max (1 year ago)
My pleasure!
Juan Ángel (1 year ago)
¿Hablas Español? Est-ce que tu parle Français?
Juan Ángel (1 year ago)
parles, pardon
English with Max (1 year ago)
Si and oui
Kamran Butt (1 year ago)
please can I get your WhatsApp number ?
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'm sorry, I don't give that out to people I don't know
Sam almur (1 year ago)
Although I don't speak English I knew what "masticate" looks like 😛😂
English with Max (1 year ago)
Glad to hear it 😁
Alfonso Rivera (1 year ago)
Great video! I think that this type of idioms make us 'feel' a foreign language from the inside and that is fantastic! In Mexican Spanish, we use the idiom 'Es pan comido / It's an eaten/chewed? slice of bread' to talk about something which has been or will be really easy to do. Now, I really admire the way you speak in four languages! Besides, the way you make sure we all understand and practice the content of your lessons, tells you apart from the teachers who only think of these free lesson as a hook for selling their packages. Understandable of course, but we really appreciate your great job!
Nicolás Vescovo (1 year ago)
In Argentina also is common use 'Es pan comido' and an equivalent to add insult to injury is 'Sobre llovido mojado'. Great video!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks again for your kind comments, Alfonso! I'm not sure if they say that in Spain too, but I'll ask a Spanish friend ;). I'm glad you like the lessons!
iondoncev (1 year ago)
in FRENCH people also say - ON PEUT PAS AVOIR le beurre , l'argent du beurre et SURTOUT le cul de la crémière ............
iondoncev (1 year ago)
you welcome ............)))))))))))))))))))))
English with Max (1 year ago)
Haha, merci ;)
Carlos Augusto (1 year ago)
Hallow Max, I'm from Mexico. Your speaking is quite clear but every time I'm watching the news I can't undertand very?, What can I do about that?. People sey that I need to hear carefully however it becomes difficult when you not know most of the words.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Carlos, I know, it's hard. To understand the news it's best to read newspapers as well. It's an easier way to learn new vocabulary. It takes time, but if you do it consistently (and look up the words you don't know), you'll notice some improvement after a few months!
Thomas Schmitt (1 year ago)
Thanks for the video. It was great to listen to your german :) Learning idioms is really useful because if you dont know the sense of it you are completely confused. Because just translating the words doesnt help much. For number 4 we say "Die Augen waren größer als der Magen / The eyes were bigger then the stomach". Other idioms are: "Ins Gras beißen / To bite the gras (means to die)" "Blaumachen / To make blue (means to not go to school or not go to work without a special reason" "Auf dem Holzweg sein / To be on a wooden path (means to think in a wrong way / to make a mistake" "Perlen vor die Säue werfen / to throw pearls in front of pigs (means to waste time with somebody who doesnt understand or appreciate you"
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks a lot! I knew the first two (die Augen..., ins Gras...), but never heard the others. I'll try to remember them!
fabio elettrico (1 year ago)
Thank you so much. You're the best.
L. McClane (1 year ago)
Umar has learned so much by watching this! Thanks :D
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'm always happy when I feel useful! :D
L. McClane (1 year ago)
He only knew two of them
Sayondip Roy (1 year ago)
So now even Angels have started uploading videos???😄....the most stunning teacher I ever had! Jokes aside the content and the way you are teaching is really helpful. A Happy New Year in advance.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Haha, thanks for your very nice comment! Happy New Year to you too!
czuplak (1 year ago)
Hi!!! I have a question. I need to translate a well known sentence, not an idiom i think, from a Stones song "she's under my thomb". What exactly does it mean, can you explain me this, please?
English with Max (1 year ago)
+Jacek Szymański No worries. Same to you!
czuplak (1 year ago)
Thanks Max :) And happy new year!!!!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Sure. "To have someone under your thumb" means to have someone under your control or influence. So it's something like "I have her under my control".
Fernando Barbosa (1 year ago)
Hi Max :). Good to see you again :P. I've been seriously thinking about this things recently, and I thinkg it'd be awesome if you do a tour around your city.... I'd like to know how's Australia like, what you usually do and some other cultural stuff. On the other hand, I'm a native spanish speaker and I can tell that you roll your R's quite good :). It seems like native english speakers struggle when rolling r's, but you don't. So, congrats.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Don't worry! When you're there you'll hear how people ask for things. Plus, it's harder to offend people because we only have one form of "you" ;). So just make sure you say please and thank you, and you'll be fine! And thanks for the compliment :) (Just a small correction: impressive not impressing ;). But your English is excellent!)
Fernando Barbosa (1 year ago)
That's actually a great idea as well :). I'll be travelling soon to Canada and I'm a little nervous because, even though I understand almost everything (except slang) and I can have conversations, I wouldn't know how to ask for something in a restaurant or at the hotel or a supermarket for example... So it would be good to teach how to face native speakers hahahaha.... Books don't really help much in those moments because not everyone talks as proper as the characters who are having conversations there xD. Anyways, :D I've just read that you know many languages!! That's so impressing :), congratulations (again)
English with Max (1 year ago)
I was thinking of doing one at the supermarket, but going around the town is a good idea. I'll try do that this year! Haha, thanks :). I had to practise it A LOT, and I know it's still not perfect, but you have to try...
Curious Boxer (1 year ago)
I've lived in Canada through my formative years and young adulthood. (Still a young adult). English has almost become my first language but I still enjoy watching videos for ESL from time to time to time to push my English into perfection. Thanks for the informative and eloquently-delivered lessons. This channel is everything I want. I cracked up when you say mas——ate. I don't think many people here will get the humor tho. But I can see you are a kind and witty person. Keep it up. :)
English with Max (1 year ago)
We say that here too :). Sometimes you can use them interchangeably, but "to rub salt in somebody's wound" is normally when a person deliberately makes an emotional or physical injury worse. "To add insult to injury" can mean that, but can also refer to things that people don't have any control over (the weather, traffic, etc). Does that make sense? The difference is quite small.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yes, I'd like to learn Mandarin, but I know it would take many years of hard work and dedication :S. That's very interesting. I believe the English expression has been around for a few hundred years, but I don't think it has as much cultural significance as the Chinese one. Thanks for sharing!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks so much for your lovely comment! I'm glad you find my videos useful :).
Curious Boxer (1 year ago)
In Canada, we say "to rub salt into somebody's wound".
Curious Boxer (1 year ago)
In Mandarin, "You can't have you cake and eat it" means 鱼和熊掌不可兼得(Yu He XiongZhang Bu Ke Jiande). 鱼(Yu): Fish, 和(he): and, 熊掌(XiongZhang): bear paws, 不可(Bu Ke): can't 兼得(Jiande): to have something at the same time. This means you can't have fish and bear paws at the same time. In Ancient China, people used to train bears to fish for them, as bears are portrayed as talented fish hunters in mythology, but bears would eat all the fish they had caught in the river and left nothing to their trainers. So people say you can't have bear paws and fish at the same time, meaning you either kill the bears to get the bear paws or catch fish in the river by yourself; you just can't train a bear to fish for you and afterwards  kill that bear for bear paws. Sometimes it means you can't be greedy. I don't know if the idiom has this rich cultural significance in it. Anyways, my mother tongue is such a hard language to learn. We Chinese like to make everything complicated lmao.
tara cortes (1 year ago)
No hay mal que dure cien años/The longest night will have an end. Thx Max!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks :). We have a similar expression, although it's not exactly the same: time heals all wounds.
Bruna Alves (1 year ago)
we have in portuguese "vai ser mole" like "it will be soft"
Bruna Alves (1 year ago)
English with Max Yes!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Is that similar to "it's a piece of cake"?
Bruna Alves (1 year ago)
Hi Max, are you british?
L. McClane (1 year ago)
What, praytell, is an Anglosajian? Or a Unitedstatian?
Bruna Alves (1 year ago)
I think some australians easier to understand than british, you say closer to brazilian accent than british
English with Max (1 year ago)
+Bruna Alves Haha, some Australians are easier to understand than others ;). You should watch an interview with Cate Blanchett or Geoffrey Rush on YouTube. They sound even more British than me.
Bruna Alves (1 year ago)
English with Max really, it's easy to understand you
English with Max (1 year ago)
No, I'm Australian, but I don't have a strong accent :)
Sameeh Madania (1 year ago)
hi Max actually in Arabic culture we say :" it's as drinking water. " we use it when we describe something so easy.
English with Max (1 year ago)
It makes sense! Thanks for commenting :D
L. McClane (1 year ago)
No, never grow up!
English with Max (1 year ago)
I concur ;)
Hello Max. It is very useful to learn idioms. In Portuguese, we say "Não se pode ter tudo." ("We can't have everything we want.") = You can't have your cake and eat it too. Thank you! (please correct).
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hello again! Thanks for that :). And there is nothing to correct. Congrats!
Manuel hernandez (1 year ago)
Thanks for this video. it was very interesting and useful. I like your toys (peluches), I love Australian animals :3. Por cierto, jamás escuché el primer dicho en español
English with Max (1 year ago)
+Manuel hernandez Don't worry, I understand you perfectly. And thanks :)
Manuel hernandez (1 year ago)
I'm from Mexico. Yeah, I could notice that your accent is very similar to which spanish people have (sorry if some word are not right) Tu pareces manejar muy bien los idiomas.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Manuel! Thanks a lot :). Haha, we have many words for "peluche" in English, but I think the most common are "stuffed toy" or "soft toy". ¿De dónde eres? I learnt Spanish in Spain, and I learnt that expression there. But I know there are several equivalents in Spanish: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_can't_have_your_cake_and_eat_it
Cesar Nascimento (1 year ago)
excelente e útil ( como sempre). obrigado Max
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Cesar! De nada ;)
Ivair Alcântara (1 year ago)
it's a piece of cake = Mamão com açucar - papaya with sugar to bite off more than you can chew = ter os olhos maior que a barriga - to have the eyes bigger than the belly
English with Max (1 year ago)
Haha :D
Ivair Alcântara (1 year ago)
Yes, I'm from Brazil, we eat cake more often than papaya, but papaya with sugar is very easy do make. I guess we use it more for food as well, for situations like that we have muito areia para o caminhão which means much sand for the truck but it is often used when someone doesn't have a chance with a girl, She is much sand for your little truck man, and seeing how it sounds in English I think they wannna mean other thing
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks! Are you from Brazil? If so, it's interesting (and logical!) that we say cake in English and you use papaya. The British love their cake! We have a similar expression in English, but we basically always use it for food: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/have_eyes_bigger_than_one's_stomach
Deivit M. (1 year ago)
Thank you for this great lesson. Here are some translations in Spanish: - piece of cake -> pan comido - nothing to write home about -> nada del otro mundo - to add insult to injury -> hechar sal a la herida
English with Max (1 year ago)
Oh yes, I heard the first one in Spain, but I'd forgotten it! Thanks for those :).
Roman Ch (1 year ago)
When you speak I recognize each word. Very good teacher) / Greetings from Ukraine
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'm happy to hear that! Greetings from Australia :)
Kd Pathak (1 year ago)
Nice video mam. thanx mam . abdullah shaikh from india 8097 222 759,
Akash Kumar (1 year ago)
your english take us to nursery class where our mam teaches english.... its really interesting and enjoying too...
English with Max (1 year ago)
Oh, thanks :)
Marwa Daher (1 year ago)
how many languages do you speak Max?
Oleg Jagga (1 year ago)
"And there are lots of French words in English ;)" About 29-30%
Marwa Daher (1 year ago)
English with Max hopefully yeah I know but I'd like to focus on English first because I already know lots of things about it so it's not that hard for me.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Don't worry, it's never too late! And there are lots of French words in English ;)
Marwa Daher (1 year ago)
English with Max woow. that's so nice , I'm trying to learn French but it's a bit hard for me as I always wanted to study French literature when I was a child and before I move to the UK ☺.
English with Max (1 year ago)
I speak French, German and Spanish more or less fluently (I lived in Europe for several years), and I know a little Italian and Indonesian.
Donnie D. (1 year ago)
In Russian, we have almost the same idiom like 4 _"to bite off more than you can chew"_, but we say _swallow_ instead of _chew_.
English with Max (1 year ago)
That's interesting :). Thanks!
granprixme (1 year ago)
add insult or add in salt to injury.?
English with Max (1 year ago)
There is a similar expression: to rub salt in the wound. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rub_salt_in_the_wound#English But it's normally when a person or group of people make something feel worse. "Adding insult to injury" doesn't necessarily have to be done by a person.
porrymanX (1 year ago)
Useful lesson today. I have one more idiom for the first one in spanish: "Estar en el plato y en la tajada" (Being on the dish and in the slice) sorry if literal translation is not accurate. Good work
English with Max (1 year ago)
I think that's an accurate translation. Thanks for that! :)
Bassel Hasan (1 year ago)
In my language (Arabic) we say: you can't hold two watermelons in one hand! It's literally means that you can't do two things at the same time. I think it has the same meaning to your first idiom, hasn't it? we also say instead of "it's a piece of cake", "it's like drinking water" mentioning how easy water can be drunk! Doesn't the last idiom have the same meaning to "to add fuel to fire" ?
ahmad ghorbanpour (8 months ago)
Exactly the same as in persian , watermelon, drinking water
Bassel Hasan (1 year ago)
Yes teacher ☺️
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks very much for those! Yes, it sounds like those have the same meaning :). The meaning is similar, but not exactly the same. "To add insult to injury" can be used for situations that are out of people's control (e.g. weather, or unpleasant events on transport). And often it's not something that will be long-lasting or continuous. "To add fuel to the fire" is always when a person or group of people make a situation worse - typically it's a conflict or a tense situation. The situation may then continue to get worse and worse - just like a fire spreads. Does that help?
Khalil Noori (1 year ago)
hello max very useful thanks
Eng A7med Gamal (1 year ago)
thanks , you are the best

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