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  1. #1
    polygon is offline Newbie
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    Default "on easy terms" ?

    "I determined to go next day and see the Time Traveller again. I was told he was in the laboratory, and, being on easy terms in the house, I went up to him. The laboratory however was empty."

    excerpt from "The time machine" - H.G. Wells

    I have looked up the Oxford dictionary for the phrase "on easy terms" and the meaning is "(of a loan) with a low rate of interest, or (of a purchase) allowing the buyer to pay gradually over a long period". I don't think this is the meaning of "on easy terms" in the excerpt. So what is the true meaning of "on easy terms"
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "on easy terms" ?

    Welcome, polygon.

    In other words, navigating his way through the house to the laboratory was easy; it wasn't burdensome, which is the same with buying something on easy terms.

    Does that help?

    All the best.

  3. #3
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "on easy terms" ?

    Being on easy terms in the house : not having things to do, chores, obligations; being at leisure to do anything you want

  4. #4
    polygon is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: "on easy terms" ?

    A big thanks to both of you.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: "on easy terms" ?

    I'm sorry to have to disagree with everyone , but in that social/historical/English context 'being on easy terms in the house' meant that he was free to go where he pleased on his own, without being accompanied by a maid or butler - he went up to the laboratory on his own. Even today, someone who is about to leave (in polite society) has to be 'shown to the door' - but probably by the host rather than a servant. If the host is on more familiar terms with a guest, he'll say something lke 'You can find your own way out, can't you?' - a relic of the old social belief that guests shouldn't wander about unaccompanied

    b

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