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Thread: tone down

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    #1

    tone down

    Can I use "tone down" if someone switches to an simpler language from an advanced language?

    For example: When John talks to children, he would tone down his language.
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

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    #2

    Re: tone down

    To me, that means John is careful not to use any swear words when he talks to children.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 31-Oct-2020 at 13:34.

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    #3

    Re: tone down

    No. "Tone down your language" means "Don't swear as much".

    When John talks to children, he simplifies his language.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 30-Oct-2020 at 16:21. Reason: fixing typo
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: tone down

    Note that "tone down" works in other contexts and has a broader meaning.

    Also, "an simpler" is ungrammatical, and "an advanced language" is wrong. You should not use the indefinite article with both instances of "language" in the above. "Language" in that sense is not countable.

    https://www.lexico.com/definition/tone_down
    https://www.lexico.com/definition/language
    Last edited by teechar; 31-Oct-2020 at 08:15.

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    #5

    Re: tone down

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    . . . When John talks to children, he simplifies his language.
    To tone something down is to make it quieter, calmer, less aggressive.

    If he avoids swearing around children, as some of the posts above have mentioned, we would say he cleans up his language.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 31-Oct-2020 at 19:08.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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