Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: pin down

  1. #1
    sara88 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    461
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default pin down

    Hello
    Pin down is a phrasel verb which means clear down or discover the exact details.
    My question is that: Do we use it frequently, I mean is it common or we simply say discover or find out???!!!
    I want to make some examples and let's see if they are correct and appropriate:
    this word is hard to pin down.
    this quizze is difficult to pin down.
    You have to pin down the reasons which stands behind this crime.
    I can't pin down what this message wants to say.
    thanks a lot in advance
    have a wonderful day.

  2. #2
    stuartnz's Avatar
    stuartnz is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • New Zealand
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: pin down

    I'm not a teacher, but I would say that it's quite commonly used. Especially when one is trying to stress the element of difficulty involved in achieving the level of exactness and accuracy required. The examples here:
    "1. Fix or establish clearly, as in The firefighters finally were able to pin down the source of the odor. [Mid-1900s]
    2. Force someone to give precise information or opinions, as in The reporter pinned down the governor on the issue of conservation measures"

    both highlight what seems to me as a native speaker to be the common way the phrase is used. In the first, there were likely many possible sources of the odour, so "pinning it down" to the exact one was not easy. Likewise, politicians are famously evasive and ambiguous in their comments, with an apparent abhorrence of making simple, definitive statements, so "pinning them down" to a clear statement of opinion is not easy.

  3. #3
    rj1948 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Tamil
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    619
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: pin down

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    Hello
    Pin down is a phrasel verb which means clear down or discover the exact details.
    My question is that: Do we use it frequently, I mean is it common or we simply say discover or find out???!!!
    I want to make some examples and let's see if they are correct and appropriate:
    this word is hard to pin down.
    this quizze is difficult to pin down.
    You have to pin down the reasons which stands behind this crime.
    I can't pin down what this message wants to say.
    thanks a lot in advance
    have a wonderful day.
    Pin down-To fix /establish clearly
    The doctors were able to pin down the cause of the disease.
    Regards,
    rj1948.Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus. Free access.

  4. #4
    sara88 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    461
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: pin down

    Thanks a lot everyone.
    Please can you tell me if my examples are correct or not? By this way I'll be able to use it correctly.

  5. #5
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    812
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: pin down

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    Hello
    this word is hard to pin down.

    I wouldn't use it like this because when trying to find a word, often there is more than one possible choice. For that reason "find" sounds better to me.

    this quizze is difficult to pin down.

    I would just use "difficult" here. "This quiz is difficult". Although perhaps what you are trying to say is "the answers to this quiz are hard to pin down" - however in that case, I would use "... hard to work out/solve".

    You have to pin down the reasons which stand behind this crime.

    This sounds okay. Unlike with the word example above, the reasons for the crime would most probably be definate - so they need to be identified and pinned down.

    I can't pin down what this message wants to say.

    Yes, but it should be "... what this message means".


    thanks a lot in advance
    have a wonderful day.
    These are just my interpretations based on how I speak.

    I'm not a teacher.
    Last edited by colloquium; 20-Jun-2008 at 20:28.

  6. #6
    sara88 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    461
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: pin down

    wow great.
    thanks so much Colloquium.

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: pin down

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    Wow! Great!
    Thanks so much Colloquium.
    You're doing well, sara88.


  8. #8
    sara88 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    461
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: pin down

    Thanks Ron for the correction!!

Posting Permissions

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