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  1. Over the top's Avatar
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    #1

    Between you and me

    Between you and me, I didn't think it would work. I think I only tried because it was so easy to do.

    What does it mean? Is it a literal translation of a foreign expression?
    Thank you

  2. Tullia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Between you and me

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the top View Post
    Between you and me, I didn't think it would work. I think I only tried because it was so easy to do.

    What does it mean? Is it a literal translation of a foreign expression?
    Thank you

    No, it's a very common expression in BrE. It means that the speaker is telling the listener a secret, or something private that they do not wish them to reveal to anyone else - it should remain between the speaker and listener only.

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    #3

    Re: Between you and me

    [AmE - not a teacher]

    It is also very common in the US. Also, sometimes the phrase "between you and me" is accompanied by the speaker leaning in towards the listener and pointing to "you" and then back to "me" emphasizing that this is something to be kept quiet. Also, sometimes the secret is more figurative, and not meant to be an "actual" secret.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Between you and me

    A lamentably common hypercorrection - to be avoided, of course - is 'Between you and I'.

    b
    PS A jocular variation is 'Between you and me and the gatepost'. (I suspect this shows my age. )

  4. Tullia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Between you and me

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSmith View Post
    t is also very common in the US. Also, sometimes the phrase "between you and me" is accompanied by the speaker leaning in towards the listener and pointing to "you" and then back to "me" emphasizing that this is something to be kept quiet. Also, sometimes the secret is more figurative, and not meant to be an "actual" secret.
    It's good to know it's in use in AmE too. I agree that very often the secret is figurative. In fact I'd go so far to say that often it's not a secret at all, and the speaker is using the phrase just to create for the listener the feeling that they are trusted or liked.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    PS A jocular variation is 'Between you and me and the gatepost'. (I suspect this shows my age. )

    Hmm, I don't know your age of course, but I still hear it/use it, and I don't quite class myself as over the hill just yet. However, I do accept that my English does tend to be a little oldfashioned!

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    #6

    Re: Between you and me

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    PS A jocular variation is 'Between you and me and the gatepost'. (I suspect this shows my age. )
    Ah, yes, very good, though I think it's "bedpost" here And in fact, in the US, you'll hear any number of contextual variations as "between you and me and the X", from those who think they're being even more jocular

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Between you and me

    I think we use 'bedpost' here too, though that word has a hint of Lonnie Donegan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for me (because of one of his songs, about chewing gum, not you and me)

    b

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Between you and me

    "Between you, me and the bedpost" suggests a rather more intimate relationship than "between you, me and the gatepost".

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Between you and me

    I've always used "Between you and me and the fencepost." An interesting little trans-Atlantic difference.
    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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