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Thread: cut the mustard

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    #1

    cut the mustard

    Do we use it in a negative sentence "He doesn't cut the mustard as a team leader." or an affirmative sentence "He cuts the mustard as a manager."

    Can we use it with the Future Tense? " Soon he will cut the mustard for NHL as a professional."?
    Last edited by ostap77; 05-Nov-2010 at 13:50.

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    #2

    Re: cut the mustard

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Do we use it in a negative sentence "He doesn't cut the mustard as a team leader." or an affirmative sentence "He cuts the mustard as a manager."

    Can we use it with the Future Tense? " Soon he will cut the mustard for NHL as a proffessional."?
    It's predominantly (always? - I can't think of an example, but see what others have to say...) used in the negative. Future's fine:

    He will not cut the mustard in the NHL
    (or negative sense) I doubt if he'll cut the mustard in the NHL

    b

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    #3

    Re: cut the mustard

    cut the mustard fully fitting to - approach is fully - to meet the expectations - meet the requirements

    cut the mustard = perform satisfactorily

    The expression is often in negative form, as in your example above, but there are positive connotations also.

    In the twentieth century, Americans were able to cut the mustard, that is, "to do what is needed." The first evidence comes from O. Henry in 1904: "So I looked around and found a proposition that exactly cut the mustard."

    cut the mustard = to do well enough in what needs to be done; to succeed.

    He is keen to exchange the first gifts, but the laibon's family first want to see if he can cut the mustard.

    These matches were required to show whether the All Blacks tight five were still able to cut the mustard, whether the loose forwards could combine, whether New Zealand could put together a backline attack without having Joe Stanley as the lynch-pin.

    His older brothers and sisters helped Max through high school, but he couldn't cut the mustard in college.

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