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    #1

    all eyes

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to share with me your opinion concerning the usage of the phrase “be all eyes” in the following sentences?

    He was all eyes as the train sped through the country…

    She was all eyes when I unpacked the small package.

    Would you tell me whether I may use the verb “unwrap” instead of “unpack” in the second sentence?

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

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    #2

    Re: all eyes



    be all eyes - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    When you're all eyes, you're so interested in seeing something that your eyes become the most important part of your body. You can be all ears too.

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    #3

    Re: all eyes

    Would you tell me whether I may use the verb “unwrap” instead of “unpack” in the second sentence?
    Yes - unwrap would be a better choice here.

    Rover

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    #4

    Re: all eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Yes - unwrap would be a better choice here.

    Rover

    I agree that from a purely stylistic point of view it sounds better than repeating "pack", however I think whether or not it's a better choice depends on exactly what real action is being described.

    If the person is getting a small package out of a suitcase, for example, and putting it away in a cupboard then he is indeed unpacking it, and might well still be leaving it in its wrapping; the original sentence doesn't give us enough to go on to decide exactly what he is doing. If he is unpacking it, I'd probably change package to another noun like parcel instead to avoid the ugly repetition.

    On the other hand, the said small package might well perhaps have been on his knee already, and he might be removing the packaging from around it, in which case unwrap might be a good choice but again we would be making an assumption that the limited text we have doesn't support. We don't know that the package is wrapped, by which I mean covered with paper or fabric. It might well be boxed, in which case opened or opened up would be better verbs.

    The joy of English is that we have so many words with distinct but related shades of meaning - but it does mean that it's very hard for people to learn, I think!

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