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    #1

    pick up the thread

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    …he’d make some sort of a financial adjustment, but could hardly be expected to pick up the thread of a life where it had been broken ten years ago. (E. S. Gardner, “The D. A. Calls a Turn”)

    You must realize that I’ve been away from the job for five years. It’ll take me a little time to pick up the threads again.

    Sir Richmond took up the thread of their overnight conversation again. H. G. Wells, “The Secret Places of the Heart”)

    pick up the thread = take up the thread = resume = go for = piece together

    V.

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    #2

    Re: pick up the thread

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    …he’d make some sort of a financial adjustment, but could hardly be expected to pick up the thread of a life where it had been broken ten years ago. (E. S. Gardner, “The D. A. Calls a Turn”)
    The person may have had a high paying job, got fired ten years ago and lost everything. Now he has got his job back, but it will take a while for him to have the same lifestyle as before.

    You must realize that I’ve been away from the job for five years. It’ll take me a little time to pick up the threads again.
    A person had a job 5 years ago and was good at it, then he went away and lost some of the skills needed for the job, now he is back again and will be a bit rusty until he regains the skills.

    Sir Richmond took up the thread of their overnight conversation again. H. G. Wells, “The Secret Places of the Heart”)
    Sir Richmond was having a conversation with someone lastnight, then in the morning he talked to the same person and started speaking about the same topic as lastnight.


    pick up the thread = take up the thread = resume = go for = piece together

    V.
    Not a teacher only a native.

    I would say you have the gist of the phrase.

    'Pick up the thread' means to start from where you left off. I wouldn't say it meant to 'piece together'.

    'Took up the thread' I think has a slightly different meaning, in your context I think 'thread' refers to the theme / topic of the conversation. So they talked about the same subject they had lastnight. It has a similar meaning, but I detect a subtle difference. They could very well have started from where they left off. Maybe that is just me though, someone else might have a different opinion.

    See in the quote above for explanations.

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