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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    He is handful

    Doesn't "handful" have to be corrected to "He is a handful", does it?

    From a workbook,
    A smillar expression to "He is the black sheep of the family" is
    ex)He is a troublemaker = He is handful = He is a naughty boy.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He is handful

    "He is a handful" is correct.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: He is handful

    But those expressions are not even close to the same in meaning!

    You use handful or naughty for small children. Someone who is the black sheep is an adult whose lifestyle doesn't comport with the rest of the family.
    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. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He is handful

    BarbD is absolutely right. I got carried away with the "handful" part and completely forgot that the question was about "the black sheep of the family".

    That phrase is usually used to describe a member of the family whose behaviour is not liked for one reason or another! They might take part in criminal activity or some deviant sexual practice, or simply do something that the rest of the family disapproves of. Frequently, the rest of the family don't even talk about the "black sheep", they might pretend that he/she doesn't exist and have no contact with that person.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He is handful

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    BarbD is absolutely right. I got carried away with the "handful" part and completely forgot that the question was about "the black sheep of the family".

    That phrase is usually used to describe a member of the family whose behaviour is not liked for one reason or another! They might take part in criminal activity or some deviant sexual practice, or simply do something that the rest of the family disapproves of. Frequently, the rest of the family don't even talk about the "black sheep", they might pretend that he/she doesn't exist and have no contact with that person.
    "some deviant sexual practice"

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: He is handful

    baaaaaaaaah.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: He is handful

    I should point out that I am not equating deviant sexual practices with illegal activity (although of course sometimes there is an overlap) but sadly I'm sure some families would disown a member of the family based on their sexual preference, or refer to them as the "black sheep".

  8. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: He is handful

    I have a colleague who has a PhD. He's very respected in his field and leads an important segment of our company. He jokingly says he's the black sheet of his family because his father and all three of his brothers are medical doctors.
    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.

  9. keannu's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: He is handful

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    But those expressions are not even close to the same in meaning!

    You use handful or naughty for small children. Someone who is the black sheep is an adult whose lifestyle doesn't comport with the rest of the family.
    Is it only for adult family members not children as well? A juvenile delinquent can be regarded as so probably, I guess. In Korean we have a similar expression like "He is an abandoned child of the family" to mean the family doesn't care about him any more, so he is like kicked out of the family. I wonder if this makes similar sense.

  10. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: He is handful

    I haven't heard it used for anything other than adults.
    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.

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