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  1. vectra's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Jun 2005
    • Posts: 288
    #1

    poured oil on flames

    Hello,

    Here is a sentence from my student's work:

    - I also have a feeling that somebody is trying to put us out of business. People talk behind our back that there`s poor management and we`re going under. And the last audit poured oil on flames. Looks as if there`s someone behind this low-ball estimate of the company.

    I have consulted answers.com, thefreedictionary.com, idiomquest.com and the English idiom & Idiomatic Expressions on this site and have come to the conclusion that the student just mixed up "to pour oil on troubled waters" with "add fuel to the flames". Am I right?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 283
    #2

    Re: poured oil on flames

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Hello,

    Here is a sentence from my student's work:

    - I also have a feeling that somebody is trying to put us out of business. People talk behind our back that there`s poor management and we`re going under. And the last audit poured oil on flames. Looks as if there`s someone behind this low-ball estimate of the company.

    I have consulted answers.com, thefreedictionary.com, idiomquest.com and the English idiom & Idiomatic Expressions on this site and have come to the conclusion that the student just mixed up "to pour oil on troubled waters" with "add fuel to the flames". Am I right?

    Thank you in advance.
    Not a teacher only a native.

    If you 'pour oil on flames' you make a situation worse.

    Your student might have combined the two sayings, but I have heard people say 'put oil on a fire' or words to that effect.

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