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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    how to say it in English

    Hello all users!

    Suppose you try to do something which requires your full attention. As is the case under such circumstances, the more effort you put into doing an activity, the higher the risk that you effort is doomed to failure.

    For example, my wife and I had our flat redecorated a few years ago. Our settee was just a few cenimetres away. All we had to do was move it as close to the wall as possible. And that's where the problems started. We tried to move it very carefully and as a result, we ended up hitting the wall.

    What do the Englishmen and Englishwomen usually say in such condtions?

    Oops or Long live awkwardness or Long live clumsiness or my all fingers are thumbs?

    Thank you.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: how to say it in English

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    Hello all users!

    Suppose you try to do something which requires your full attention. As is the case under such circumstances, the more effort you put into doing an activity, the higher the risk that your effort is doomed to failure.

    For example, my wife and I had our flat redecorated a few years ago. Our settee was just a few centimetres away (from what?). All we had to do was move it as close to the wall as possible. And that's where the problems started. We tried to move it very carefully and as a result, we ended up hitting the wall.

    What do the Englishmen and Englishwomen usually say in such conditions a situation?

    "Oops", or "Long live awkwardness", or "Long live clumsiness" or "My all fingers are thumbs"?

    Thank you.
    I wouldn't use any of your suggestions. Apart from "Oops", they're all unnatural and not used. The last could be "I'm all fingers and thumbs" but that doesn't fit this situation.

    The best suggestion I have for something that goes wrong like that is "It's Sod's law" - "It's Sod's law that I only had to move the settee a few centimetres yet I still managed to mess it up and hit it against the wall!"
    Basically, Sod's law is the theory that if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. I know that doesn't quite fit your context but I'm not really aware of a theory that says the more you have to concentrate on something, the higher your chance of failure.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Key Member
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    #3

    Re: how to say it in English

    The other name for it is Murphy's law, isn't it?

  4. Key Member
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    #4

    Re: how to say it in English

    How about saying "My efforts backfired on me" or "My efforts backfired on my attempts".

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: how to say it in English

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    The other name for it is Murphy's law, isn't it?
    Yes, it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    How about saying "My efforts backfired on me" or "My efforts backfired on my attempts"?
    Those don't sound natural to me. You might get away with "My attempt(s) backfired".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. YAMATO2201's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: how to say it in English

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    my all fingers are thumbs
    Does "my all fingers" sound natural?
    I'd write "all my fingers".
    I am not a teacher. I am currently studying basic English grammar.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: how to say it in English

    No, it's not natural. I just corrected the uncapitalised first letter in post 2 and in my comments suggested "I'm all fingers and thumbs" which is the BrE version.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. YAMATO2201's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: how to say it in English

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "I'm all fingers and thumbs" which is the BrE version.
    Thanks.

    Does "My fingers are all thumbs." sound natural to you?
    I am not a teacher. I am currently studying basic English grammar.

  9. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: how to say it in English

    Not to me but that's possibly because "I'm all fingers and thumbs" is a set idiom in BrE.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. VIP Member
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    #10

    Re: how to say it in English

    Quote Originally Posted by YAMATO2201 View Post
    Does "My fingers are all thumbs." sound natural to you?
    The American expression is "I'm all thumbs".
    I am not a teacher.

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