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  1. phorntita's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #1

    On a whim

    I wonder whether "On a whim & at whim" can be interchangeable like in these sentences:
    1) I went to visit her on a whim.
    2) He hires and fires people at whim.
    3) We bought the house on a whim.
    Understood that this word "whim" has to deal with emotional thing for sure. What is another word/expression we can use if not "whim"
    Could you advise me please?


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #2

    Re: On a whim

    Quote Originally Posted by phorntita View Post
    I wonder whether "On a whim & at whim" can be interchangeable like in these sentences:
    1) I went to visit her on a whim.
    2) He hires and fires people at whim.
    3) We bought the house on a whim.
    Understood that this word "whim" has to deal with emotional thing for sure. What is another word/expression we can use if not "whim"
    Could you advise me please?
    I have never heard 'at a whim', but "on a whim". Caprice is a good synonym.


    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 6
    #3

    Re: On a whim

    whim noun [C, U] a sudden wish to do or have sth, especially when it is sth unusual or unnecessary: He was forced to pander to her every whim. We bought the house on a whim. My duties seem to change daily at the whim of the boss. the whims of fashion She hires and fires people at whim.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #4

    Re: On a whim

    Quote Originally Posted by phorntita View Post
    I wonder whether "On a whim & at whim" can be interchangeable like in these sentences:
    1) I went to visit her on a whim.
    2) He hires and fires people at whim.
    3) We bought the house on a whim.
    Understood that this word "whim" has to deal with emotional thing for sure. What is another word/expression we can use if not "whim"
    Could you advise me please?
    No you can't always interchange these expressions.
    For example 1) I went to visit her at whim. is not right unless you are referring to a habitual action in the past.
    Similarly 3) We bought the house at whim. is wrong.
    You could use "on a whim" for 2).

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