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Thread: I'll buy it

  1. #1
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default I'll buy it

    I have a question for our American friends on here:

    My fiancee was in her 'translation class' at university today, and her teacher insisted that the phrase "I'll buy it" means "I don't know".

    I have NEVER heard it used in this way, I've only ever heard "I don't buy that" (I don't believe it) or "Do you buy that?" (Do you believe that?).

    This isn't an American slang expression, is it? IMO, this teacher is getting a little mixed up...

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    I wouldn't say "I'll buy that" is a slang expression, since it has been around long enough to be considered a colloquialism. It is a way of expressing that a person believes, or accepts, something that has been said. Similarly, "I don't buy that" expresses disbelief, or incredulity.

    My fiancee was in her 'translation class' at university today, and her teacher insisted that the phrase "I'll buy it" means "I don't know".
    Like you, I have never heard it used that way, and I am quite skeptical. Perhaps I will see if I can get some more opinions for you.

    :)

  3. #3
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    I agree with both of you - IMO they are wrong. Ron's description fits exactly with what I understand by it.
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  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
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    There is more discussion of this one here: http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/mb/...ry&msg=14897.1

    The response to my question there might help to explain that teacher's confusion.

    :)

  5. #5
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Cheers Ronbee :)

    By the way, the teacher insisted that in future, when students don't know the answer to a question, they should stand up and say "I'll buy it". What an odd class.

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    Cheers Ronbee :)

    By the way, the teacher insisted that in future, when students don't know the answer to a question, they should stand up and say "I'll buy it". What an odd class.
    Odd indeed! Those students are going to get some strange reactions should they ever use that expression with a native speaker. Is that teacher Chinese?

    8)

  7. #7
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee

    Odd indeed! Those students are going to get some strange reactions should they ever use that expression with a native speaker. Is that teacher Chinese?

    8)
    Yes she is Chinese. She comes from Dalian Foreign Language Institute, apparently (which is usually a very good school!)

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    That's more common in the negative- 'I'm not buying that', meaning I don't accept it.

  9. #9
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    So let me get this straight: According to this teacher, 'I'll buy it' means 'I don't know'. Can we assume then, Tdol, that 'I'm not buying that' means 'I know'?? :wink:

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I think the teacher has got the wrong end of the stick.

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