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Thread: sprain

  1. #1
    shinem is offline Member
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    Post sprain

    Hello all,

    In this sentence I didn't understand the whole meaning and especially sprain word. Here Tom is trying to persuade the teacher that they're not fighting, just helping to Teddy for getting up. Then asks his two friends for getting approval. And speaker (Teddy) is talking about Tom's friends acts.


    'Tom's friends look like they’re going to sprain something “yeah” and “of course”-ing to Teddy's suggestion.'

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: sprain

    I'd like to help you, and I think I can, but I do not understand the summary of the context you have provided.
    Can you give me the entire paragraph, word for word?

    John

  3. #3
    shinem is offline Member
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    Default Re: sprain

    Ok, after a fight between two students named Tom and Teddy, teacher comes:

    Dr. White levels an intense stare at Tom. Impressively, Tom never drops his eyes. “This feels a little like déjà vu. Now why do you think that is?”

    “Oh, this is not what it looks like. Teddy here fell down, and my friends and I were just helping him up. Right, guys?” Tom’s friends look like they’re going to sprain something “yeah” and “of course”-ing to Scott’s suggestion.

  4. #4
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: sprain

    To "look like you are going to sprain something" means that you have a strained expression on your face that is not necessarily caused by physical pain but - in this case - by the necessity of lying directly to Dr. White.

    It is Scott that speaks to Dr. White and lies about the fight between Tom and Teddy. Because all of the boys know that if they get caught fighting they will be in trouble, two of Tom's friends go out of their way to make excuses and reinforce the lie. Their faces are strained and exaggerated to try and convince Dr. White that they are telling "the truth".

    Does this explain it?
    John

  5. #5
    shinem is offline Member
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    Smile Re: sprain

    Yes, I understood now... Thank you very much for your helpful explanation :)

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: sprain

    Quote Originally Posted by shinem View Post

    “Oh, this is not what it looks like. Teddy here fell down, and my friends and I were just helping him up. Right, guys?” Tom’s friends look like they’re going to sprain something “yeah” and “of course”-ing to Scott’s suggestion.

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Mr. Paris, one of the excellent teachers here, has given you and me a wonderful answer.

    (2) Non-teachers such as I are currently allowed to give our two cents so long as we start our posts with the warning "NOT A TEACHER."

    (3) I most respectfully and most humbly have another interpretation.

    (a) As you know, "to sprain" means to twist. For example: "The runner sprained his

    anke and had to quit the race."

    (b) I feel (and I admit that I am NOT a great reader) that the author was trying to say something like this:

    Tom's friends were saying "yeah" and "of course" so much that it seemed that they

    were going to sprain something (twist something in their bodies) out of shape.

    (4) If my answer is shown to be utter nonsense, I shall, of course, delete it.

  7. #7
    JohnParis's Avatar
    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: sprain

    Parser - if you ever remove one of your posts, I'll stop volunteering here.
    Sometimes, they have been the height of my day.

    I believe we have both reached the same outcome, but have taken different "vocabulary routes."

    I have a TEFL diploma, but most of my life has been spent as a physician. I'm retired now, and I hesitated to use the explanation of "sprain" that you offered only because it was clinically incorrect. But the point is, in common usage you are right in seeing a twisting action associated with the word sprain. Everyone does.

    The boys had goofy expressions on their faces because they were lying to the teacher. Maybe they were twisted, strained, red-faced or whatever, but the author was definitely explaining a physical attribute caused by an embarrassing conundrum. The weight of the lie "sprained" their comportment.

    John

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: sprain

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    I'm retired now, and I hesitated to use the explanation of "sprain" that you offered only because it was clinically incorrect. But the point is, in common usage you are right in seeing a twisting action associated with the word sprain. Everyone does.
    I did until now.

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