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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Cool Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    Hi there,

    I wonder if in English there is an adverb or phrase to describe the concept "I can easily do something for other people without paying extra effort", like "I can grab a bottle of milk on my way home (emphasizing on without need to pay extra effort to go around for a long way to get the milk" or like "my mom asked me to grab her a glass of water, because I was in kitchen already".
    In Chinese, there is a term "順道. But I couldn't find a meaningful translation on online translators and I couldn't think of any similar way of expressing this concept in English. Is there an adverb or phrase in English to describe this kind of concept? Thank you so much.

    Best regards,

    Kwangin526

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    #2

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    The best I can think of is [not to go] out of one's way.

    Q: Could you grab a bottle of milk if it's not going out of your way?
    A: Sure. I won't have to go out of my way at all.

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    #3

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    A shorter version of the response is Sure, it's on my way.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    Also take a look at "no sweat." It may serve your purpose.

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/no+sweat

  5. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    We could use some help from Matthew Wai.

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    #6

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    ... or tedmc.

  7. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The best I can think of is [not to go] out of one's way.

    Q: Could you grab a bottle of milk if it's not going out of your way?
    A: Sure. I won't have to go out of my way at all.
    Hi jutfrank,

    Thank you for your answer. It totally makes sense to me. I just wonder if using "by the way" would be completely no sense.
    Q: Could you grab a bottle of milk by the way (or it should be "on the way" here, like GoesStation suggested)

    I am having some trouble in distinguishing "on the way" and "by the way".

    Thank you so much.

    Best regards,

    kwangin526

  8. Newbie
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    #8

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    This is great!! Thank you.
    I am trying to figure out the difference between "on the way" and "by the way".

  9. Senior Member
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    #9

    Re: Asking an adverb or phrase in English to describe an abstract concept

    順便 is an easy concept to understand, but there's no succinct, elegant way of expressing it in English. An English phrase that very closely captures the idea is "while [somebody] is at it".

    e.g., "While you're at it, could you pick up some milk?"
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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