Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 140
    #1

    Do this / these do that / those

    "Do this / these do that / those"

    Can I use the phrase to describe someone is very busy, he has so many things to do?

    If it can be used, should it be use in singular or plural form?
    Last edited by bigC; 30-Nov-2016 at 23:33.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 13,741
    #2

    Re: Do this / these do that / those

    You cannot use such phrases as a description of a person who is very busy.

  3. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 27,000
    #3

    Re: Do this / these do that / those

    Your thread title is about telling someone what to do.

    'Don't do this job – do that.'

    'Don't do these maths questions – do those.'

    (Don't leave spaces round slashes.)

  4. Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 140
    #4

    Re: Do this / these do that / those

    The phrase is a direct translation of Chinese expression, it describes a person has been doing some miscellaneous things, e.g. walk the dog, clean the kitchen, write to complain about bad internet signal…etc, such as

    She was busy in doing this/these, doing that/those.

    Is the meaning of the expression clear to English speakers, thought it is not used in English?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 02-Dec-2016 at 09:59. Reason: Deleting quote.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Academic
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 25,593
    #5

    Re: Do this / these do that / those

    You've added the new concept of "She was busy doing ..." This sentence would be understood in English. However, "walk the dog, clean the kitchen, write to complain about bad internet signal" would require some explanation because it's simply a list of imperatives.

    This is understandable, because it has a context: 'My husband has been at me all day - "
    walk the dog, clean the kitchen, write to complain about bad internet signal."'

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

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 47,286
    #6

    Re: Do this / these do that / those

    He was busy doing this and that.
    He was busy doing stuff.

    Both of those make it clear that he was busy, without specifying what he was doing. He could have been doing anything.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •