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  1. VIP Member
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    come (fall) short of something

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right about my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    You’re going hard now to win my heart but
    Too many times now you’ve been coming up short.

    ..he felt how far he fell short of the reserve power and dignity in both his father and his mother. (J. Galsworthy, “To Let”)

    Her money came short of the expenditure.

    ‘’’I’m model son; but I regret to say that you are very far from being a model father…

    What right have you to say that, sir? In what way have I fallen short? (B. Show, “Too True to be Good”)

    come (fall) short of something = experience/ feel shortage, be deficient in, fall short of someone’s expectation

    Thanks for your efforts.



  2. Key Member
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      • Native Language:
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      • England
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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    Re: come (fall) short of something

    Hello Vil,

    Yes, that sounds right.

    The underlying metaphor in "X falls short of Y" is of an arrow (X) and target (Y). Thus the arrow does not succeed in travelling the full distance to the target, but descends in front of it.

    Best wishes,

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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