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Thread: about a horse?

  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #1

    about a horse?

    Dear teachers?

    What does this sentence mean?

    She went to see a man about a horse.

    Does it mean the man is riding the horse?

    Thanks

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: about a horse?

    She went to see a man to discuss a horse. She may have been planning to buy one, or to learn to ride, or to complain about what a horse had done, or many other things. The most likely is that she was going to buy one.

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    #3

    Re: about a horse?

    5jj has given you the literal meaning. I wonder if perhaps this is a variation on "going to see a man about a dog".

    This phrase (possibly only in BrE) is used when you have an appointment and you don't want the hearer to know the reason. It can be used when you simply want to get away from a situation and you want to make it appear that you have a pressing engagement that you must attend.

    It's somewhat tongue-in-cheek now and if someone were to tell me that they had to part from me "to see a man about a dog" I would know that it was very unlikely that they were actually going to meet a man to discuss an animal of the canine variety.

  4. Offroad's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: about a horse?

    Yes, emsr2d2, you touched it with a needle.

    Thank you all

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    #5

    Re: about a horse?

    In AmE the phrase has several meanings but all refer to taking one's leave for some urgent purpose, especially to go to the bathroom or going to buy a drink. The original non-facetious meaning was probably to place or settle a bet on a race, thus dog or horse.

    Read more: What does I have to see a man about a horse mean

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