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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Feb 2016
    • Posts: 1

    the usage of 'luck'

    Hi there,
    I just heard a sentence in my listening material and I am a little bit confused about the usage of luck here (the bold sentence). Does the luck here mean the student can't find a computer or is unable to use a computer? Hopefully someone can help me figure it out. Say thanks to you in advance!

    "Student: Where do I go, besides the computers, to look for books on New Zealand?
    Librarian:OK. You mean you donít want to use the computer?
    Student:Well, I havenít had any luck on the computers here.
    Librarian:OK. I mean the reason I am asking is you pretty much have to go to the computer to find out where a book is. But I can help you find it on the computer if you like."

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 44,269

    Re: the usage of 'luck'

    We frequently use "I haven't had any luck" to mean simply "I haven't been able to" or "I have failed".

    Me: I've been looking for ten minutes but I've had no luck finding the flour. Can you tell me where it is?
    Shop assistant: Certainly. It's on the left-hand side of aisle 10.
    Me: Thanks very much.

    In your main dialogue it just means that the student has tried to find the information he/she wants by using the computer but has been unable to find that information. The student seems to think that the librarian can answer the question about the location of books on New Zealand without using the computer. The librarian points out that the only way he/she (the librarian) can answer the original question is by using the computer. The librarian understands that the student has already tried that and failed, but offers to show the student how to use the computer to find the books on New Zealand.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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