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  1. #1
    wowenglish1 is offline Senior Member
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    Default You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!

    What does "C" mean by " the next sentence"?
    You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!



    A: By the way, last night on the news, they showed a beached whale being rolled back into the ocean.

    B: What makes you think of that?
    A: Beats me.
    C: You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!


  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!

    The man lying down assumes (probably correctly) that the other two have been reminded about the story about the beached whale by the fact that he is rather fat and resembles a whale himself. I think his final sentence is a threat - he has understood their "joke" about his size and is threatening to hurt/kill them (or something) as a result. If that happens, they will probably be featured on the news as well.

    I should point out that his threat is (I hope) meant as a joke!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    The man lying down assumes (probably correctly) that the other two have been reminded about the story about the beached whale by the fact that he is rather fat and resembles a whale himself. I think his final sentence is a threat - he has understood their "joke" about his size and is threatening to hurt/kill them (or something) as a result. If that happens, they will probably be featured on the news as well.

    I should point out that his threat is (I hope) meant as a joke!
    While literally it could be taken as a threat, in AmE at least, the term liable is frequently used synonymously with "possible" i.e. as a possibility. (A) "Look at those dark clouds over there." (B) "Yeah, it's liable to rain any minute." (A) "That guy has been double parked for about an hour." (B) "I know. He's liable to get a ticket."

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!

    It's still a threat, as far as I can see.

  5. #5
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!

    I agree: Man buries cheeky children up to their necks in the sand. Film at 11! (Not that he really would, of course.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: You two are liable to be on the news, yourselves!

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    It's still a threat, as far as I can see.
    As I posted previously, I understand "liable" can be used as a threat, particularly in the context represented by the cartoon, but use of 'liable' simply as a possibility is also a possibility (no pun intended). Given one of the examples I used, i.e. (A) "That guy has been double parked for an hour."(B) "I know. He's liable to get a ticket." "B" doesn't know the "guy" (driver), so I don't see it as a threat or even a caution. He is simply stating his opinion to "A" about the possibility that the driver might get a ticket.
    Last edited by billmcd; 25-Jun-2012 at 22:01. Reason: typo

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