Come home with

You 'come home with' a prize if you've won it in a competition

Today's story: State fairs
Explore more: Lesson #603
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Come home with

When you talk about a competition, you can use the term “come home with” to describe what someone won, in the competition.

In today’s story, I told you all about state fairs . And one of the things you can do at a state fair is play a carnival game. A carnival game is like, a portable station, usually like a trailer. And it’s open on one side. And the idea is, you walk up to it, and you play some type of game or competition. And if you win, you get a prize. They usually have the prizes stacked up behind the game or along the sides. They’re brightly colored. They’re attractive. It’s usually a stuffed animal or a small toy. There is a bored-looking person selling the tickets.

So you buy a ticket, and you get a chance to win a prize. You can’t buy a prize. They are not for sale. You have to win it. They give you five darts and say, if you can pop five balloons, you get to pick your prize. Or they give you a small basketball. If you can shoot ten consecutive baskets, you get a big prize. Whatever—you know what I mean.

Here’s what you might say. “The two of us played every carnival game we could, and we came home with a stuffed turtle, two bears, and a shot glass.” Those were the prizes that we won. We came home with a stuffed turtle, two bears, and a shot glass. We won those prizes, and we came home with them.

We might have also bought a t-shirt, we might have bought a painting, we might have bought a coffee mug with our names on it. But we didn’t win those. So we don’t use “come home with” to describe those things, the things that we purchased.

You might—definitely you, not me!—you might come home with a prize in an agricultural competition, too. At the Illinois State Fair, there are competitions for seven types of dairy cows. Something for everyone! You might come home with a first-place ribbon for Holstein dairy cattle. You won the ribbon, you won the prize, so you come home with that prize.

You can use “come home with” to refer to a group or a team—even if they don’t all live in the same home! There are lots of prizes and medals given out at the Olympics. Norway’s Olympic Team came home with 16 gold medals in the 2022 Olympics.

Did you see the movie, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”? Strange movie! But it did well at the Oscars. The movie came home with seven awards, including Best Picture.

See you next time!

All right, that’s all for today. I hope you enjoy these lighter episodes—they’re easier for me to write because I already know about the topics. Boy, the butter cow. I had no idea the butter cow would ever feature in a Plain English episode.

Anyway, enjoy these last days of summer. Labor Day is coming up in America and Canada on Monday—if you’re there, enjoy your day off. We’ll be back on American Labor Day itself—no rest for us! Enough America talk for a while—we’ve had enough of one country’s traditions. On Monday, we’ll talk about British comfort food. See you then.

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Story: State fairs