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    #1

    to turn on somebody

    Dear teachers,

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

    He never felt like a foreigner in Spanish and they did not really treat him like a foreigner most of the time. They turned on you often, but they always turned on everyone. (E. Hemingway)

    The big fleshy brunette was busy…. He made a timid gesture with his hand. “A cup of tea, please.” The brunette turned on him urgently. (A. Sillitoe)

    If he came home late, and she reproached him, he frowned and turned on her in an overbearing way. (D. Lawrence)

    to turn on somebody = to face in hostile manner, attack

    V.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to turn on somebody

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    ...
    to turn on somebody = to face in hostile manner, attack

    V.
    (And be careful with the word order. 'To turn somebody on' could be said to involve an attack, but not a hostile one. )

    b

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    #3

    Re: to turn on somebody

    I read the first sentence more in a metaphorical way than a literal way. If someone is friendly to you but then suddenly treats you in a hostile manner, they can be said to "turn on you."

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