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  1. #1
    Silverobama is offline Senior Member
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    Default put someone in the wrong/do someone right/wrong

    Hi,

    I am wondering if these three are valid English idioms?

    Put some in the wrong

    Do someone wrong

    Do someone right


    Thanks a lot

  2. #2
    Chrystalline is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: put someone in the wrong/do someone right/wrong

    To "do someone wrong" is to do something bad to him, whether it is illegal (like robbing him) or simply unkind (like buying the last of something you know he needs). Literally it means "to do wrong to someone," and is very subjective. This one is often used in breakup songs (I've had "I Will Survive" in my head since I read the question).

    To "do someone right" is to do something good to or for him, from simple kindness (saving his favorite food for him) to major assistance (going out of your way to prove his innocence so he can get the fire insurance to help rebuild his house). Literally, "to do right (or good) to someone."

    Both of the above phrases are often used with the wrong verb forms, so it will probably be confusing.

    To "put someone in the wrong" seems more complicated, and I'm not entirely sure about it. If someone did something bad and/or illegal, he would be in the wrong. If someone did something and you just learned that it was illegal, you might say, "That puts him in the wrong," indicating that the new information changed how you see him.

    I don't know if there are any differences in British English.

  3. #3
    Silverobama is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: put someone in the wrong/do someone right/wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrystalline View Post
    To "do someone wrong" is to do something bad to him, whether it is illegal (like robbing him) or simply unkind (like buying the last of something you know he needs). Literally it means "to do wrong to someone," and is very subjective. This one is often used in breakup songs (I've had "I Will Survive" in my head since I read the question).

    To "do someone right" is to do something good to or for him, from simple kindness (saving his favorite food for him) to major assistance (going out of your way to prove his innocence so he can get the fire insurance to help rebuild his house). Literally, "to do right (or good) to someone."

    Both of the above phrases are often used with the wrong verb forms, so it will probably be confusing.

    To "put someone in the wrong" seems more complicated, and I'm not entirely sure about it. If someone did something bad and/or illegal, he would be in the wrong. If someone did something and you just learned that it was illegal, you might say, "That puts him in the wrong," indicating that the new information changed how you see him.

    I don't know if there are any differences in British English.

    Please take a look at this thread. I am more confused right now.

    Put somebody in the wrong - WordReference Forums
    do me wrong - WordReference Forums

  4. #4
    Chrystalline is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: put someone in the wrong/do someone right/wrong

    As I said, I'm not sure about "putting someone in the wrong" - I don't think it's used much around here. It may be old or regional.

    As for "do me wrong" and "do me right" - both are informal, so you wouldn't usually use them in a report or speech. Tazzler is right; it does mean to treat someone badly (do me wrong) or well (do me right), but as I said before, it's subjective. Some people will say "He did me wrong!" over a minor issue, but usually it's used for major things.

    If you use the "in context" link from Panjandrum's link for "do me wrong" (at the top of the page under the links for Spanish, French, and Italian) you'll see the second link is of a man whose dog bit off his toe because "I think he had a sense that he knew (the infection) was going to do me wrong..."

    In this case, the infection would have made him very sick and might have killed him.

    In the song I mentioned earlier, the singer means the man who left her and broke her heart.

    For "do me right," again, it's usually used for more significant things. If an insurance agent sends you the paperwork for your recently-burned house, that's just expected. If you've been accused of burning it yourself and he helps prove that you're innocent, you could say he really did you right.

    "Do me right" is much less common than "do me wrong." A more formal version would be "He wronged me," but that's also not used very often. Note that "He righted me" is NOT used in this sense at all.

    More often we would be specific about what someone did to us:
    "He cheated me."
    "She robbed me."
    "He hit me."
    "She set me up."

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