Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    sitifan is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default burn the midnight oil/ pull an all-nighter

    He burns the midnight oil studying every day.
    He pulls an all-nighter every day.

    What's the difference in meaning between the above two sentences?
    I need native speakers' help.

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    13,905
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: burn the midnight oil/ pull an all-nighter

    "Burning the midnight oil" implies a late night, but not necessarily all night.

  3. #3
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: burn the midnight oil/ pull an all-nighter

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    He burns the midnight oil studying every day.
    He pulls an all-nighter every day.

    What's the difference in meaning between the above two sentences?
    Normally, the ending of both would be "night" not day.
    He burns the midnight oil studying every night - He consistently studies.
    He pulls an all-nighter every night:
    He studies every night
    He drinks every night
    He gambles every night
    He does something every night but it doesn't have to be studying.

  4. #4
    natelearning is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: burn the midnight oil/ pull an all-nighter

    To burn the midnight oil is a very old English expression from times when people used oil lamps for light. The earliest record of its use is in a poem by Frances Quarles from 1635. Today the expression is used to denote working late at night, whether it be study or actual work at a job.

    To pull an all-nighter probably originated in the latter half of the 20th Century, judging by the formation of the phrase and the modern idioms of "pull" and "nighter". This expression denotes any activity that involved staying awake until sunrise, whether it be studying or partying, or even just watching television.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,591
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: burn the midnight oil/ pull an all-nighter

    Do you have a source for that, natelearning?

Similar Threads

  1. midnight
    By jasonlulu_2000 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 31-Oct-2012, 14:30
  2. burn the midnight oil/oil it
    By GUEST2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-May-2012, 13:33
  3. past midnight VS untill after midnight
    By majid72 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Dec-2008, 17:51
  4. Burn the midnight oil
    By bmo in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-Feb-2004, 15:02

Posting Permissions

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