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Thread: cop out

  1. #1
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    Default cop out

    Is the following sentence without any mistakes?
    We would all cop out if we had to tell what we really thought of him.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: cop out

    I'd say 'would be copping out', but is that logical- how is telling a difficult truth a cop-out?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: cop out

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'd say 'would be copping out', but is that logical- how is telling a difficult truth a cop-out?
    I think the intended meaning is that they would not tell "the truth about him".

    They would "cop out" rather than telling the truth.

    "We would all cop out if we had to tell what we really thought of him."

    The sentence sounds awkward to me.

    If you "had" to do something, then you couldn't not do it, therefore you could not "cop out".

    Another way of putting it would be:

    If anyone asked us to tell the truth about him I think we would all cop out.

    It's still awkward. The term is slang so not often encountered in writing.

    Other ways of putting it would be:

    None of us would have the nerve to tell the truth about him.

    or

    If asked, none of us would have the guts to tell the truth about him.

    or

    If asked, we would try to say something nice rather than telling the truth about him.

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