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  1. #1
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    Default Be aware of those who fish in troubled "waters"

    I and my firiend found a sentence as follows:Be aware of those who fish in troubled waters.And I think the word "waters" is not because it is a countable but it is just an idiom and my friend thinks it should be water.Would you please explain it for me ?TKS!

  2. #2
    mok mihaly is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Be aware of those who fish in troubled "waters"

    Dear Thread, you have wound across the field of non-countable nouns just as any self-indulgent sewing thread winds around decent buttons until fixing them. Now, I hope you will find collecting the arguments pro "WATERS" acceptable; according to a BBC World Service Dictionary( Chief Ed. John Sinclair), the word 'waters' (plural + supp) means - A country's waters consist of the area of sea near it which is regarded as belonging to it. >The ship was in British waters.<
    Also you may understand the idea of nouns uncountable yet to refer a large area used and set in plural (eg. GOODS, MEANS, WORKS) >... the black waters of the Thames...<
    Some extra support from the Bible(=NIV) Genesis 1:2b >and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.<
    I am still wondering of your mother tongue yet to be shared - a fine quotation of Ezra Pound's poem (DOWRIA) offers a succulent hit as he wrote of >grey waters<.
    Yours, Mihaly Mok - Budapest, Hungary

  3. #3
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Be aware of those who fish in troubled "waters"

    Be aware of those who fish in troubled waters.

    "troubled waters" is an expression that means a place or situation that can lead to problems. (no "the" required)

    "fishing" in troubled waters would be spending time in a place that is known for having problems.

    So this saying is telling you to stay away from people who hang out or congregate in dangerous places.

  4. #4
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Be aware of those who fish in troubled "waters"

    and it's probably Beware . . .

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    Default Re: Be aware of those who fish in troubled "waters"

    Thank you!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Be aware of those who fish in troubled "waters"

    In fact, this is a tranlated sentence based on a Chinese idiom.
    And this idiom "fish in troubled waters" is also a military stratagem in ancient China which means taking the initiative in make the waters troubled then find the weakness of enemy.

    I'm an export sales , not a student major in linguistics. So I seldom pay attention to this kind of idiom which has nothing to do with the jobs.

    But my friends often like to find some strange questions and ask me why .

    This sentence is written by a person in a Chinese website for English learning.

    Anyway, thank you very much!

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