Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    azz is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    136
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default won't be handed everything...

    a. You are not going to be handed everything. You have to earn it.

    I think this is good English, but what does "it" stand for?
    "Everything"?
    Or "having everything"? Or "being handed everything"?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,294
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: won't be handed everything...

    Quote Originally Posted by azz View Post
    a. You are not going to be handed everything. You have to earn it.

    I think this is good English, but what does "it" stand for?
    "Everything"?
    Or "having everything"? Or "being handed everything"?

    Thank you.
    You have to earn everything (you are handed).

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22,698
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: won't be handed everything...

    A more common phrase (idiom) is "You won't be handed everything on a plate."
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
    azz is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    136
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: won't be handed everything...

    Well, if you will not be handed everything, you will be handed some things! And you must earn those things you are not handed.

    But maybe in this case 'you won't be handed everything' actually means 'you will be handed nothing'. In any case, it seems that 'it' refers back to 'everything'.

    Many thanks.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,458
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: won't be handed everything...

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    A more common phrase (idiom) is "You won't be handed everything on a plate."
    "On a silver platter" here.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,087
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: won't be handed everything...

    Quote Originally Posted by azz View Post
    But maybe in this case 'you won't be handed everything' actually means 'you will be handed nothing'.
    No!
    You won't be handed anything = You will be handed nothing.
    You won't be handed everything = There are some things that you will not be handed.
    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.

  7. #7
    azz is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    136
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: won't be handed everything...

    Many thanks to all of you!

    a. You are not going to be handed everything. You have to earn it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    No!
    You won't be handed anything = You will be handed nothing.
    You won't be handed everything = There are some things that you will not be handed.

    That was my problem with this sentence. If you will be handed some thing, then you will only have to earn the other things!

    b. You are not going to be handed everything, You have to earn some things.
    makes sense to me.

    c-You are not going to be handed anything. You have to earn everything.
    also makes sense.

    The original does not make sense to me. It is not logical although it sounds fine.

    Thanks.

Similar Threads

  1. [Idiom] Ham-handed
    By Gintas in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Mar-2012, 06:28
  2. [Vocabulary] Single-handed
    By Renan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 31-May-2011, 01:19
  3. handed in
    By jkl in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-May-2008, 03:20
  4. handed over
    By kohyoongliat in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-May-2007, 15:10
  5. looking a little empty handed
    By Ju in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Dec-2006, 04:11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •