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    #1

    Make up the numbers

    Hello everyone,

    I seem unable to understand what the writer of the text below intended to express using the phrase 'making up the numbers' in the context. Could you clear it up for me, please?

    Thanks,

    Waawe


    'Most travellers come for Naadam, the two-day summer sports festival that brings Ulaanbaatar to a standstill. But Mongolia’s unique charm will always lie in the countryside where, rather than being a spectator to the wrestling, you may find yourself making up the numbers! Outside the villages it’s easy to meet nomad families whose relentless sense of hospitality can at times be nothing short of overwhelming.'

    Mongolia Travel Information and Travel Guide - Lonely Planet

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Make up the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I seem unable to understand what the writer of the text below intended to express using the phrase 'making up the numbers' in the context. Could you clear it up for me, please?

    Thanks,

    Waawe


    'Most travellers come for Naadam, the two-day summer sports festival that brings Ulaanbaatar to a standstill. But Mongolia’s unique charm will always lie in the countryside where, rather than being a spectator to the wrestling, you may find yourself making up the numbers! Outside the villages it’s easy to meet nomad families whose relentless sense of hospitality can at times be nothing short of overwhelming.'

    Mongolia Travel Information and Travel Guide - Lonely Planet
    It's basically used when a group/team does not have enough people to perform/play whatever it is they want to do.

    For example, a local football team wants to enter a tournament. However, they need 11 players in order to enter, but they only have 9. Those 9 players would probably be asked to talk to all their friends and see if any of them would be prepared to play. They need 2 more people in order to have a team of 11, so the friends would be asked if they could help to "make up the numbers" (to help the team achieve the number of players required).

    In the example you gave above, they're warning you that instead of simply watching the wrestling competition, you might actually be asked to join in if there aren't enough locals (or of course they might simply want the amusement of watching tourists trying to wrestle!)

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    #3

    Re: Make up the numbers

    So, do I understand the sentence okey that, in the city, you can only passively watch the sports event whereas, if you go to the countryside, you will get the chance of active experiences, first hand?

    Thank you for help.

    W

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Make up the numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    So, do I understand the sentence okey that, in the city, you can only passively watch the sports event whereas, if you go to the countryside, you will get the chance of active experiences, first hand?

    Thank you for help.

    W
    I don't think they're saying that you can only watch sport in the city. They're just saying that if you do go out to the countryside and watch one of the sporting events, you never know, you might be able to join in! This is due to they nomads overwhelming hospitality - they may want to include you in everything they do, and that might include taking part in the wrestling!

    It is probably less likely that this would happen to you in the city, that's true!

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    #5

    Re: Make up the numbers

    Now I understand a 100%.

    Thanks for dissipating my ignorance. How could I have been so blind!!! It s clear.

    A good day to you, emsr2d2.

    Waawe

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