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    #1

    Cup of Tea

    In my understanding, "... is not my cup of tea" (= not good at ...) is a colloquial expression used in negative contexts.
    Do you ever say, "Golf is my cup of tea"?


  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Cup of Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    In my understanding, "... is not my cup of tea" (= not good at ...) is a colloquial expression used in negative contexts.
    Do you ever say, "Golf is my cup of tea"?

    It's not used in the positive very often, no.

    However, "it's not my cup of tea" doesn't really mean that you're not good at it. It means that you don't really like it. It can refer to anything. For example:

    Q - Do you like films by Quentin Tarantino?
    A - No, they're not really my cup of tea.

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    #3

    Re: Cup of Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's not used in the positive very often, no.

    However, "it's not my cup of tea" doesn't really mean that you're not good at it. It means that you don't really like it. It can refer to anything. For example:

    Q - Do you like films by Quentin Tarantino?
    A - No, they're not really my cup of tea.
    Thanks. I understand that "Jazz is not my cup of tea" means jazz is not my favorite genre of music.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Cup of Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Thanks. I understand that "Jazz is not my cup of tea" means jazz is not my favorite genre of music.
    You're right, although I would say that it's more negative than just being "not my favourite". It is closer to meaning that you actually dislike it.

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    #5

    Re: Cup of Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    You're right, although I would say that it's more negative than just being "not my favourite". It is closer to meaning that you actually dislike it.
    Thanks. Is it possible to use it in an affirmative way in the following context?


    A: Golf is not your cup of tea, is it?

    B: Yes! It's my cup of tea.

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    #6

    Re: Cup of Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Thanks. Is it possible to use it in an affirmative way in the following context?


    A: Golf is not your cup of tea, is it?

    B: Yes! It's my cup of tea.
    No, I don't believe you'd see it this way. Again, it is being statement in the affirmative; as emsr2d2 has pointed out, this would not be a normal use of it.

    Another answer would be, "To the contrary, I love to play an occasional round of golf. But don't ask me to watch that Woods fellow on TV."

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    #7

    Re: Cup of Tea

    It seems that "more my cup of tea" is acceptable in affirmative sentences.

    "Golf is more my cup of tea than tennis."

    Is the above acceptable?

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    #8

    Re: Cup of Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    It seems that "more my cup of tea" is acceptable in affirmative sentences.

    "Golf is more my cup of tea than tennis."

    Is the above acceptable?
    Yes, that is true! Thanks for pointing it out.


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    #9

    Re: Cup of Tea

    (Not a teacher)

    The use of this idiom exists in other languages too, but is culturally related somewhat. In Brazilian Portuguese the idiom translates to 'it's not my beach'.

    I think in the example you gave where the person asks if it's not your cup of tea it would be appropriate to answer using the idiom in the affirmative, as you are just echoing what they asked you.

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    #10

    Re: Cup of Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    (Not a teacher)

    The use of this idiom exists in other languages too, but is culturally related somewhat. In Brazilian Portuguese the idiom translates to 'it's not my beach'.

    I think in the example you gave where the person asks if it's not your cup of tea it would be appropriate to answer using the idiom in the affirmative, as you are just echoing what they asked you.
    You forgot to tell us whether the Brazilians say that something "is their beach".

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