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  1. #1
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    wash your hands of somebody/something

    Hello,

    I was watching a series and heard a dialogue in which one man was critisizing his friend for backing out of their agreement because the latter had fallen in love with a girl. He said something like "since you began dating that girl, you've gone missing. I wash my hands of you". I wonder whether he sees that as a permanent situation or the phrase 'wash your hands of somebody/something" is not normally used in progressive tenses.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: wash your hands of somebody/something

    It's used for the future.
    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.

  3. #3
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: wash your hands of somebody/something

    I'm afraid I don't get it. Do you mean the expression's used to convey a future meaning and 'wash' is non-progressive here? I wash my hands of you = I refuse to be responsible for you - just because we don't normally say "I am refusing"?

  4. #4
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    Re: wash your hands of somebody/something

    I wash my hands of you - From this point on I accept no responsibility for you.

    It is not used in the progressive form because there is no actual washing of the hands. The words themselves are the act.

    In the act that gave us the expression, Pilate did literally wash his hands.

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