start at 0:40
John Travolta: …you know what the funniest thing about Europe is?
Samuel L. Jackson: What?
T: It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that they got here, but it’s just there is a little different.
T: Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don't mean just, like, in no paper cup. I’m talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer in McDonald's. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
J: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
T: No man, they got the metric system there, they wouldn’t know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.
J: Then what do they call it?
T: They call it Royale with Cheese.
J: A Royale with Cheese. What do they call a Big Mac?
T: Big Mac is a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.
J: Le Big Mac. What do they call a Whopper?
T: I don’t know, I didn’t go into a Burger King. But you know what they put on French fries in Holland instead of ketchup?
T: I’ve seen them do it, man. They fucking drown them in that shit.
What can you learn from this scene?
A great little scene, instantly usable in a real life situation. We all travel, domestically or abroad, and like to talk about our trips. Talk about differences in culture, food, nature, etc. All you need to do is replace the city names (Paris and Amsterdam) with cities and countries you’ve been to and describe how MacDonald’s restaurant differ between those places. The other thing you need to do is fix the grammar and remove all 4-letter words.
On bad grammar
We all make grammar mistakes – natives, non-natives, taxi drivers, university professors, etc. It’s unavoidable, we already talked about that. The thing you need to be aware of is that actors too make grammar slips and this dialogue is no exception. Make sure you don’t learn grammatically inaccurate sentences like the following one:
“And I don't mean just, like, in no paper cup.”
The use of fillers (just & like) suggests that John Travolta may have forgotten his line. According to Google University the original line was:
“And I don’t mean in a paper cup either.”
As we said, grammar is like a mathematical formula but instead of numbers, we plug in words. Fifth-grade mathematics teaches as that two negative numbers equal a positive: (–) + (–) = (+)
Grammar rules are similar – double negatives cancel each other out to give a positive statement:
I do not mean in no paper cup = I mean in a paper cup
Which is not how they sell beer in Amsterdam. In Amsterdam you can buy beer in a glass so the correct grammar is:
I don’t mean in a paper cup.