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  1. #1
    jirikoo is offline Member
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    clash between an english native speaker and english student

    I live in Australia studying english extensively and frequently. Sometimes when talking with my native colleagues at work we happen to differ on many various grammar questions and more importantly word and phrase usage.

    Here are some of the examples i hope you will help me shed the light on them:

    1) I say: "Its a fag today". She (native speaker) goggles her eyes trying to calm me down. She says "fag" means only "fagot". What I meant was: hard work or slavery.
    Question: who is right? If "fag" really means a hard work is it a common colloquial expression ?

    2) She spilled water. I say "What did you commit?" She doesn't understand me. I meant: What did you do? I thought that the word "To commit" means "cause" or "do". She claims that "to commit" means only "to bond" or "to bind (oneself to...)" in relation to "commitment" etc.

    Question: who is right? If "commit" really means also "cause" is it a common colloquial expression?


    3) Catch up. I said "Don't catch my words up". What I meant was: Don't watch and analyze my every single word. Do not translate each word literally. She doesnt figure out what i meant.

    Question: who is right? Is "catch up" in this context right? If so is it a common colloquial expression?

    Thank you guys

  2. #2
    meez is offline Junior Member
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    Re: clash between an english native speaker and english student

    go for her expressions...

  3. #3
    apex2000's Avatar
    apex2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: clash between an english native speaker and english student

    Quote Originally Posted by jirikoo View Post
    1) I say: "Its a fag today". She (native speaker) goggles her eyes trying to calm me down. She says "fag" means only "fagot". What I meant was: hard work or slavery.
    Question: who is right? If "fag" really means a hard work is it a common colloquial expression ?
    Your use of fag is slang which is not understood. If you mean hard work then say it.
    2) She spilled water. I say "What did you commit?" She doesn't understand me. I meant: What did you do? I thought that the word "To commit" means "cause" or "do". She claims that "to commit" means only "to bond" or "to bind (oneself to...)" in relation to "commitment" etc.
    Again say 'what did you do'. Commit is used when someone is guilty of something - you committed an offence - or to be involved, pledge, promise - you made a commitment to do that work.
    Question: who is right? If "commit" really means also "cause" is it a common colloquial expression?
    No, not colloquial as such just normal usage but it does not mean cause.

    3) Catch up. I said "Don't catch my words up". What I meant was: Don't watch and analyze my every single word. Do not translate each word literally. She doesnt figure out what i meant.
    Mean what you say 'don't analyse my every word'. Catch up is wrong here - you catch up with someone walking ahead of you.
    You should listen to what your companions are telling you. They know how to say what they mean.

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