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    #1

    To sit on the fence usages

    Hi,
    I have a question about the usage of the idiom "to sit on the fence". Does the following bold part make sense to you? I am acquainted with the common definition of this idiom meaning "to be neutral in an argument". However, in this sentence that idiom connotes something different. For your information, this sentence has been uttered by a non-native English speaker.

    - Your long face reveals your relationship with your own world is not appropriate. In this situation, your responsibility is to stop sitting on the fence and try to pay more attention to the reality of your being.
    Last edited by Roozbeh; 30-Apr-2015 at 06:25.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: To sit on the fence usages

    It is an encouragement for the person to get more involved.

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    #3

    Re: To sit on the fence usages

    So, this usage of that idiom sounds natural to the ear of an ordinary English speaker. Right?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: To sit on the fence usages

    Yes.

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    #5

    Re: To sit on the fence usages

    not a teacher

    sitting on the fence
    I agree with Mike. As you say, the usual sense of the phrase is "to be neutral in an argument", but it often implies a reluctance to make a decision or to commit to something. In your example, it's a little difficult to know without more information, but it seems that the person is being criticised for deliberately staying too removed from the reality of their circumstances, and is being encouraged to get more involved.
    Last edited by JMurray; 30-Apr-2015 at 07:13.

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    #6

    Re: To sit on the fence usages

    "Fence sitters" are either indecisive or are afraid of alienating one side or the other. Politicians are famous for fence sitting.

    It's not a positive comment usually. I wouldn't use the phrase merely to denote a disinterested party.

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