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    • Join Date: Mar 2005
    • Posts: 230
    #1

    Other Way Around

    Dear Teachers,

    a. We can’t get through to him, have tried counseling with no success and are at the end of our ropes with him.
    - What does “to be at the end of our ropes with him” mean?

    b. Usually we get letters from a friend who is in love with her best friend. This is the first time I have seen a letter the other way around.
    - What does “the other way around” mean?

    Thanks very much

    Namsteven

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    #2

    Re: Other Way Around

    a. We can’t get through to him, have tried counseling with no success and are at the end of our ropes with him.
    - What does “to be at the end of our ropes with him” mean?
    We're extremely frustrated and don't know what else we can do to help him.

    b. Usually we get letters from a friend who is in love with her best friend. This is the first time I have seen a letter the other way around.
    - What does “the other way around” mean?
    The opposite situation. In this case, the letter is from the best friend, instead of the friend.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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      • English
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      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: Other Way Around

    Quote Originally Posted by namsteven View Post
    ...
    a. We can’t get through to him, have tried counseling with no success and are at the end of our ropes with him.
    - What does “to be at the end of our ropes with him” mean?
    ...
    The British expression is "at the end of his tether". A tether isn't just any rope; it's a piece of rope used to restrict the movement of an animal; there's also a verb, usually used in the third form: "a tethered goat".

    I first heard the "rope" version in It's a Wonderful Life, when James Stewart is drinking and desperate. He says to someone (the barman, I think) "I'm at the end of my rope". I have heard the "rope" version a few times in England, but - as I spent a long time in a US company, often with US bosses and always with US colleagues - my experience may be biased.

    b

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