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  1. #1
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    Default Need the meaning of two pharses

    Hi ,

    Can anyone help me in getting the meaning the below mentioned phrases.

    1) To carry coats to new castle.

    2) Constant dropping wears away the stones.

    Please let me know asap.

    Nivas

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need the meaning of two pharses

    I can help you with the first phrase. It should be 'It's like taking coal to Newcastle.'

    Newcastle is a city in the North East of England where a lot of coal used to be produced.
    The phrase to take coals to Newcastle means to take something unnecessary to a place where there is already a lot of this. If I took a bag of sand into the desert, or if I took some ice to the North Pole, it would be like taking coals to Newcastle.

    The other phrase maybe not quite right. Are you sure you've copied it down correctly from where you found it?
    The meaning is probably that if you keep working at something, even if it's a difficult problem, then after a long time you will succeed.

    Hope this is useful to you.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Need the meaning of two pharses

    Quote Originally Posted by Clare James View Post
    I can help you with the first phrase. It should be 'It's like taking coal to Newcastle.'

    Newcastle is a city in the North East of England where a lot of coal used to be produced.
    The phrase to take coals to Newcastle means to take something unnecessary to a place where there is already a lot of this. If I took a bag of sand into the desert, or if I took some ice to the North Pole, it would be like taking coals to Newcastle.

    The other phrase maybe not quite right. Are you sure you've copied it down correctly from where you found it?
    The meaning is probably that if you keep working at something, even if it's a difficult problem, then after a long time you will succeed.

    Hope this is useful to you.
    - and when you use the expression 'like taking coals to Newcastle' (as you do in your second para), you are using the form that is more familiar:

    Results 1 - 10 of about 69,500 English pages for "coals to Newcastle"
    Results 1 - 10 of about 8,910 English pages for "coal to Newcastle".

    Students may like to know that while 'coal' is not normally countable in current English it was countable in the 17th century (if not before - see Carry coals to Newcastle ); a coal was a lump of coal.

    I agree about the second phrase; maybe there's a typo: "Constant dripping [of water] wears away the stones".

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 19-Dec-2007 at 16:38. Reason: Fix link

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