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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    on-and-off boyfriend

    Are these sentences correct:
    1) I talked to your on-and-off junky boyfriend.
    2) I talked to your junky on-and-off boyfriend.

    3) I talked to that on-and-off junky boyfriend of yours.

    4) I talked to that junky on-and-off boyfriend of yours.

    In which case:
    a) the fellow was an on-and-off junky and 'your boyfriend'
    and in which case:
    b) He was 'your on-and-off' boyfriend and a junky

    I think '1' and '3' are ambiguous and '2' and '4' correspond to 'b', but if I heard '1' and '3', I'd assume they meant 'b'.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: on-and-off boyfriend

    I think you mean "junkie" (if you're talking about someone who's addicted to drugs). "Junky" (which I don't think is actually used) would mean "related to junk" (trash, rubbish).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: on-and-off boyfriend

    I would use "on-off boyfriend" in AusE.

  4. Key Member
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    #4

    Re: on-and-off boyfriend

    Thank you both very much,

    Yes, I meant 'junkie'. I am sorry about that.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  5. VIP Member
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    #5

    Re: on-and-off boyfriend

    "On-and-off boyfriend" sounds natural to my AmE-trained ears.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: on-and-off boyfriend

    We don't really use on-and-off junky, so the phrase would be interpreted to apply to boyfriend in all four cases.

    1) and 3) sound most natural to me.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: on-and-off boyfriend

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "Junky" (which I don't think is actually used) would mean "related to junk" (trash, rubbish).
    My Penguin edition of William Burroughs' classic novel is titled Junky.

    (I wonder if there may be a BrE/AmE thing here.)

  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #8

    Re: on-and-off boyfriend

    I would assume that in most cases the person was a junkie and that the on-off part referred to their boyfriend status.

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