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    #1

    bend over backwards

    "What happened to Joe? He's blue."

    "He's been bending over backwards to get a promotion."

    "Did he get it?"

    "No. They passed him by and gave it to somebody else."

    Is it used correctly in the context?
    Last edited by ostap77; 04-Nov-2010 at 11:23.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: bend over backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "What happened to Joe? He's blue."

    "He's been bending over backwards to get a promotion."

    "Did he get it?"

    "No. They passed him by and gave it to somebody else."

    Is it used correctly in the context?
    Not really. We generally bend over backwards to be hepful to somebody - or perhaps forgiving.

  2. ieltsonly's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: bend over backwards

    If we read "bending over backwards" as to fulfill and reach all of the requirements set by the authorities that can offer the promotion, the expression works.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: bend over backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by ieltsonly View Post
    If we read "bending over backwards" as to fulfill and reach all of the requirements set by the authorities that can offer the promotion, the expression works.
    Is that how you read that expression? It's not how I read it.

    It's to make extra efforts to do something, efforts beyond what is easy or usual.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: bend over backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Is that how you read that expression? It's not how I read it.

    It's to make extra efforts to do something, efforts beyond what is easy or usual.
    I agree with you about the meaning of "to bend over backwards".
    I have a question for you. In your experience, do people actually talk like this? Leaving aside the appropriateness or otherwise of "bend over backwards".

    "What happened to Joe? He's blue."

    "He's been bending over backwards to get a promotion."


    "Did he get it?"


    "No. They passed him by and gave it to somebody else."

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: bend over backwards

    Does that sound natural? No.

    What's up with Joe? He looks like Eeyore.
    Oh, he was doing everything but pick up the boss's dry-cleaning to get that promotion.
    And he didn't get it?
    Nah. They gave it to someone else.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: bend over backwards

    Or did you mean, how would I use "bend over backwards"?

    How was the interview?
    Oh, I didn't go.
    What? Are you kidding me? I bent over backwards to get you that interview. I called in every favor I had!
    God! I'm kidding. It went great and I start on Monday!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: bend over backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Does that sound natural? No.

    What's up with Joe? He looks like Eeyore.
    Oh, he was doing everything but pick up the boss's dry-cleaning to get that promotion.
    And he didn't get it?
    Nah. They gave it to someone else.
    Thanks, that's what I meant.

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    #9

    Re: bend over backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Thanks, that's what I meant.
    So you would not use "bend over backwards" meaning " to put in a lot of affort to get something"?

  8. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: bend over backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    So you would not use "bend over backwards" meaning " to put in a lot of affort to get something"?
    I would agree with Barb_D's use of the phrase.

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