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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #1

    work up/get all worked up/show off/made a clean breast of

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track by the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    “But I’ll say nothing, whatever time he comes,” she said. “It only works me up!”
    work up = arouse emotions; increase emotions

    She got all worked up about the idea of adopting a baby.
    to get all worked up = to get excited or upset

    It evidently was child’s play foe them, and welcome opportunity to show off.
    Yates hid a grin. The big man was showing off.
    to show off = to try to impress people by making a display of one’s learning, abilities, etc.

    At last-moved curiously enough by exactly the same motive forces that had resulted in his dishonesty he went to Professor Bindon, and made a clean breast of the whole affair..
    made a clear breast of = to confess

    If Paula and Amy treated it even with less formality an allowance was to be made for them, in as much Mr. Granger hadn’t come to the opera after all.
    to make allowance = to excuse

    She likes to make a display of her presents.
    to make a display = to show off

    If he came home late. And she reproached him, he frowned and turned on her in an overbearing way.
    to turn on somebody = to face in a hostile manner; attack

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regard,

    V.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #2

    Re: work up/get all worked up/show off/made a clean breast of

    “But I’ll say nothing, whatever time he comes,” she said. “It only works me up!”
    work up = arouse emotions; increase emotions
    I don't think this is wrong, exactly, but it isn't the form of the expression I would expect.
    - "It only gets me all worked up!"
    - "It only riles me up!"


    She got all worked up about the idea of adopting a baby.
    to get all worked up = to get excited or upset
    Exactly

    It evidently was child’s play foe them, and welcome opportunity to show off.
    Yates hid a grin. The big man was showing off.
    to show off = to try to impress people by making a display of one’s learning, abilities, etc.
    Yes

    At last-moved curiously enough by exactly the same motive forces that had resulted in his dishonesty he went to Professor Bindon, and made a clean breast of the whole affair..
    made a clear breast of = to confess
    Yes, with the added implication of
    - a PUBLIC confession (or at least to all those concerned, even if it is just one's wife) as opposed to a secret confession as to a priest
    - a COMPLETE confession, a pouring-out of every facet
    - a new beginning, a resolve to commit the error no more

    If Paula and Amy treated it even with less formality an allowance was to be made for them, in as much Mr. Granger hadn’t come to the opera after all.
    to make allowance = to excuse
    - I think of this expression to mean "give some leeway, cut some slack, allow some wiggle room" rather than "excuse" -- which means more to "let off the hook completely."
    - An allowance is more like a "margin for error" than it is like "excused from duty"

    She likes to make a display of her presents.
    to make a display = to show off
    This recalls the expression "to put on display," so it stresses showing off in the sense of publicly displaying, flaunting, laying out for everyone to see, making a show of

    If he came home late. And she reproached him, he frowned and turned on her in an overbearing way.
    to turn on somebody = to face in a hostile manner; attack
    I think "to turn on" is to UNEXPECTEDLY attack, to go in one moment from friendly to hostile. "The lion turned on its handler" suggests unexpected aggression from one who had previously been docile.

    (There should not be a new sentence starting with "And."
    "If he came home late and she reproached him, he [would frown and turn] on her in an overbearing way."

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