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      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 51
    #1

    pulling any punches

    Hi! I would like to have an opinion about the sense of the expression *pulling any punches* in the following sentence:

    I knew I was in trouble and Jonathan – who had been some of the other practices – *wasn't pulling any punches*. He said: "I'm going to be honest. We've got an uphill battle".

    The battle is referred to a dance contest. Jonathan is the trainer of the protagonist. *Wasn't he pulling any punches* because he had no hope of winning, because he knew that it was impossible to win?

    Thanks in advance.
    S

  1. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #2

    Re: pulling any punches

    Quote Originally Posted by sonyet View Post
    Hi! I would like to have an opinion about the sense of the expression *pulling any punches* in the following sentence:

    I knew I was in trouble and Jonathan – who had been some of the other practices – *wasn't pulling any punches*. He said: "I'm going to be honest. We've got an uphill battle".

    The battle is referred to a dance contest. Jonathan is the trainer of the protagonist. *Wasn't he pulling any punches* because he had no hope of winning, because he knew that it was impossible to win?

    Thanks in advance.
    S
    There are many idioms surrounding punching, as you can see at this website.

    Pulling punches refers to a boxer who intentionally doesn't hit his opponent as hard as he can, perhaps to keep him in the ring longer or to in order to let him win. We almost always use it in the negative. Hence, if you aren't pulling any punches you are hitting someone with everything you've got, whether that be criticism, opposing arguments or (in this case) hard-hitting honesty.

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