toluca lyric pilot: new rules–dua lipa’s catchy anti-booty call anthem

there’s a new video and a new concept at the .

toluca lyric is english practice via analysis of song lyrics. the pilot (first) episode focuses on the global smash hit new rules by dua lipa. click CC for subititles in english and spanish.

at :20 two principal cool english observations from the lyrics of new rules are presented

  • i got, used in the line i got new rules that appears several times in the song, is a reduction of the have got structure. on in practice this reduction of i got is the equivalent of i have.

listen at :29 for this phrase

i got. it’s a structural reduction. so it’s pretty cool for that.

means fairly, relatively, but its precise meaning can be tricky (not obvious) and depends on the tone and situation.

waking up

if u pick up his booty call, there’s a good chance u will wake up in his bed in the morning. (
  • the other cool english point is all the phrasal verbs there are in the rules.

rule 1–don’t pick up the phone.

rule 2- don’t let him in, you’ll have to kick him out again.

rule 3-don’t be his friend. u know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning.

wake up might be the first phrasal verb u ever learned. it means stop sleeping. pick up means answer the phone. kick out is remove, tell him to leave. let in the opposite of kick out—means permit entry, open the door.

open the door, let ’em in (the opposite of dua lipa’s second rule) is a lyric from the chorus of paul mccartney‘s famous track let ’em in.

the lyric at 2:04

if you’re under him, u ain’t getting over him

is the money line because it is the lyrical climax and most famous line of the song, is an alternative to isn’t(another phrasal verb!) means forget about, move on. it’s a creative, intentional word choice because under, which is used to refer to sex, is the opposite of over.

a girl under a guy

she’s under him. , she ain’t getting over him. (

like the video explains, english students shouldn’t have the idea that dua lipa intentionally tried to write a list of rules full of phrasal verbs. like the graphics on the video say from :50 to :57

native speakers don’t think about how many phrasal verbs they use. u shouldn’t worry about it either.

either is used to present two negative ideas that agree with each other– the opposite of too (also) which is used for the agreement of affirmative ideas.

dua lipa

dua lipa: thinking about phrasal verbs? no way.

to reinforce this, at :45 the comment in the video is

i promise u– dua lipa did not sit down actually trying to write a song with a bunch of phrasal verbs.

means really or in fact; it does NOT have anything to do with time. it is NOT the same as actualmente in spanish. actually is also used at 2:20 (actually fuck) and 3:35 (i’ve actually seen these rules before). sit down, yet another phrasal verb, means go from standing to sitting. be humble, sit down is the chorus of this rap by kendrick lamar.

the analysis of the dua lipa lyrics in the toluca lyric video contains several graphics of useful vocabulary phrases.

at 1:00, redo means rewrite, do it again.

a booty call, mentioned at 1:07 as the inspiration fo new rules, is a call usually made late at night with the purpose of getting sex.

truth be told, used at 1:09, means honestly, in reality.

a redo button

a redo button

at 1:15 as far as i can tell is used to express an opinion but indicates some level of doubt.

listen for come over at 1:33. in this context it means IU. head back over is a kind of opposite. u can hear it at 2:00 and it means go in the direction of a place u recently came from.

consensually, spoken at 2:25 on the video, means people agreed or wanted to have sex. there was no rape or harassment.

at 2:52 and again at 3:44 hook up means have casual sex

cartoon: a man and a woman are hugging. the man says to the woman--sorry to hear about your recent breakup. are we gonna hook up? or what?

from breakup to hookup. happens all the time

there are 5 useful expressions/words between 3:00 and 3:15 that analyze how the vocabulary used in new rules sounds like therapy.

a pattern is repeated behavior. practice makes perfect promotes the idea that practicing an activity will lead to a better performance. tryna learn it by heart means memorizing. is a reduction of trying to that is particularly common in song lyrics. eat, sleep and breathe it indicates a serious commitment, making it part of your life. rehearse means practice.

pattern for the cherry maze in pac man
there are patterns that help players have more success playing pac man (

and there are 4 other examples of vocabulary marked by graphics at the end of the toluca lyric vid.

a brochure (3:50) is a folded piece of paper used for marketing or to distribute information. the ch is pronounced like sh. catchy (4:05) refers to music that is hard to get out of your head after u hear it. ubiquitous (4:08) means that u can hear new rules everywhere.

give her a ringy ding (4:23) is another way to say call her, based on ring (the sound a phone makes to announce an incoming call), ringtones etc. ringy ding is used a couple times at the beginning of drinkin in l.a. as part of a skit (short funny play) about calling in to a radio station to win concert tickets to see the band, bran van 3000.

do u have any other questions about the lyrics in new rules or the vocabulary in the toluca lyric video? is there a song u would like to see analyzed on toluca lyric? share your ideas under leave a reply


2 Replies to “toluca lyric pilot: new rules–dua lipa’s catchy anti-booty call anthem”

    1. they are related ideas. “out of my mind” in the first verse of “new rules” means she feels crazy. and “make myself”, from the first line, means dua is responsible for feeling that way, she is causing it

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