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  1. #1
    vectra's Avatar
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    The handbag that she bought last week was a lemon.

    Hello,

    A student sent me this sentence:
    'The handbag that she bought last week was a lemon, so she had to exchange it.'

    The tricky word is 'a lemon'. She wanted to say that the handbag was defective.
    But is this word often used in this context, I mean when a customer, having realized that the item s/he bought is defective, calls it a lemon and demands a refund?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    montfan is offline Newbie
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    Re: The handbag that she bought last week was a lemon.

    * not a teacher

    "lemon" is most often used to describe cars, and it is very common in that regard. Using lemon to refer to any other defective item would probably be understood, though not common.

    Wikipedia says "A lemon is a defective car that is found to have numerous or severe defects not readily apparent before its purchase. Any vehicle with these issues can be termed a 'lemon,' and, by extension, any product which has major flaws that render it unfit for its purpose can be described as a 'lemon'."

    So it appears that using lemon to refer to any defective product is fine.

  3. #3
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Re: The handbag that she bought last week was a lemon.

    "defective" handbag? H-m-m-m

    Make her explain. Was it ripped, torn, clasp didn't work, zipper stuck?

    Most likely, she just didn't like it.

  4. #4
    vectra's Avatar
    vectra is offline Member
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    Re: The handbag that she bought last week was a lemon.

    Hello,

    Initially, I asked the students to change the idioms we are currently studying into the following - they take an idiom attached to, let's say, Unit 9, 'face the music', and transform it in this sentence: My mother has always had a face-the-music attitude if I do badly at school.
    The student just picked the word 'lemon' which has a too simple difinition - something defective - and made up this sentence.
    But something told me that the choice is wrong, and I posted the question on this forum.

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