Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    craKer is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Well, the question is: Is it possible to say clams (I mean plural) regarding several persons? e.g. "I saw them yesterday, and they were happy as clams."? In my university I was told that it is impossible, cos "not every idiom can change, some are just invariable". Is this statement true? Thanks.

  2. #2
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    700
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Quote Originally Posted by craKer View Post
    Well, the question is: Is it possible to say clams (I mean plural) regarding several persons? e.g. "I saw them yesterday, and they were happy as clams."? In my university I was told that it is impossible, cos "not every idiom can change, some are just invariable". Is this statement true? Thanks.
    I would accept "happy as clams." While it is true that many idioms cannot be changed, the little change from singular to plural shouldn't render this one invalid.

  3. #3
    craKer is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Thank you for answering! In this particular case changing is OK, but regularly idioms do not adopt any grammatical cases, i've got you right?

  4. #4
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    700
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Quote Originally Posted by craKer View Post
    Thank you for answering! In this particular case changing is OK, but regularly idioms do not adopt any grammatical cases, i've got you right?
    We would have to look at various examples. After all, birds in our hands are a bird in the hand is worth more than many two in the bush.

    But please strike while the irons are iron is hot. Stitches in time save nine(teen?)

  5. #5
    craKer is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Quote Originally Posted by kfredson View Post
    Stitches in time save nine(teen?)
    I'm afraid i didn't understand what you meant by that))))) I'm not that good,
    I'm studying the language now))))

  6. #6
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    700
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Quote Originally Posted by craKer View Post
    I'm afraid i didn't understand what you meant by that))))) I'm not that good,
    I'm studying the language now))))
    I do apologize. My post was not appropriate for someone who is just learning English.

    My point was there may be some idioms which can be slightly altered, while others would lose their meaning altogether.

    Let's look again at the idioms I used.

    "A bird in the hand (that is, held in my hands) is better than two in the bush (that is, out in the bushes or the trees)." This is an idiom which says that it is better to take what presents itself to you now rather than hold out in the hopes that you will gain more later. For instance, if you offer to buy my car for $1000 and I say no -- hoping that someone else may come and give me $2000--I may end up with no offers at all.

    Could we change this idiom by making it plural? I would say No.

    "A stitch in time saves nine." If we fix a rip in our pants (for example) when it is very small, it will keep us from having to fix a large rip later on. We might say this whenever we see someone who is procrastinating, rather than fixing a problem when it first comes up. For example, we should always fix the squeak in the car now before it turns into something worse.

    Here, too, I would say that we can't change this into the plural without affecting the quality of the idiom.

    My point, again, is simply that some idioms can be changed, at least slightly, while others can't.

    Again, I'm sorry to have confused you with this. I hope this makes things clearer.

    Before long you will become a master of English idioms. If you have another one you are wondering about, please share it here.

  7. #7
    craKer is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Thank you soo much)))) I'm working on it) By the way, what does "to be left a like a lemon" mean? Is there an idiom like this at all?
    Last edited by craKer; 21-Mar-2010 at 19:31.

  8. #8
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    32,755
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Quote Originally Posted by craKer View Post
    Thank you soo much)))) I'm working on it) By the way, what does "to be left a like a lemon" mean? Is there an idiom like this at all?
    Hi, craKer!
    There is no exact idiom in English for "to be left like a lemon".

    Aside from being a fruit, the word 'lemon' can refer to something that is inferior in some way. For example, "The new car he bought was a real lemon." Lemon in this example means an automobile that has experienced a lot of mechanical problems. In essence, the purchase of this car has left a sour (lemon) taste in the mind of the speaker/owner.

    I would assume that 'to be left like a lemon' would mean that the person was discarded or held in low esteem by others.

  9. #9
    craKer is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Hi, craKer!
    I would assume that 'to be left like a lemon' would mean that the person was discarded or held in low esteem by others.
    Thank you. In my so-called "lexics textbook" given ukrainian definition is similar to "be left in the basket" or "be out in the cold". And hell, It's given as "commonly used"!!!
    PS:the article was just a misprint))

  10. #10
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    32,755
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Happy as a clam (on the high tide)

    Quote Originally Posted by craKer View Post
    Thank you. In my so-called "lexics textbook" given ukrainian definition is similar to "be left in the basket" or "be out in the cold". And hell, It's given as "commonly used"!!!
    PS:the article was just a misprint))
    It may be commonly used in the Ukraine but you want hear it used on this side of the ocean!!!!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. School fees is/are high????
    By Unregistered1 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 15-Oct-2009, 05:34
  2. [Essay] High School
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Oct-2009, 03:10
  3. tall and high?
    By maugelit in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 20-Apr-2009, 15:40
  4. tide is high
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 21-Feb-2009, 18:00
  5. high tide/ebbing tide
    By lukre in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Nov-2007, 21:47

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •