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  1. #1
    Giulia is offline Newbie
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    To his own cost / at his own expence

    Hello,

    I was wondering about the difference between to his own cost / at his own expense / at a high price.

    Is this sentence correct?

    "He learned to his own cost that the future could not be planned"

    Would American English and British English people say this in the same way?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    Where did you come across the phrase to his own cost?

    Can you show us the dictionary entry or the text in which you saw this?

  3. #3
    Giulia is offline Newbie
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence


  4. #4
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    Thank you. Please provide the source of any sentences you ask about in your original post. If you make up the sentences yourself, let us know this too.

    Yes, the sentence in post #1 is fine in both British and American English.

  5. #5
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    As for the difference, to his own cost means that he suffered bad consequences, while at his own expense just means he bore the expense of something. In that case the thing could have been either good or bad.

  6. #6
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    Quote Originally Posted by Giulia View Post

    "He learned to his own cost that the future could not be planned"
    I can't find that sentence on the page you linked us to. I would delete 'own'.

  7. #7
    Giulia is offline Newbie
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    The sentence is mine. I am translating a text and was looking for the correct expression to use.

    Doesn't "own" give a stronger meaning? Or is it unnecessary in this case?

  8. #8
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I would delete 'own'.
    If "to his cost" was by itself I would certainly agree with omitting own. But in conjunction with at his own expense doesn't parallelism argue for keeping it?

  9. #9
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    If "to his cost" was by itself I would certainly agree with omitting own. But in conjunction with at his own expense doesn't parallelism argue for keeping it?
    What parallelism? The phrase at his own expense doesn't come into it. This is a translation from an unknown Italian phrase. We just have to assume that Giulia is correct in thinking that the sentence with to his own cost is a good translation of whatever the Italian one is.

  10. #10
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: To his own cost / at his own expence

    Quote Originally Posted by Giulia View Post
    Hello,

    I was wondering about the difference between to his own cost / at his own expense / at a high price.
    That is the question I was trying to answer. With respect, jutfrank, to his own cost clearly does form part of the question. I corrected to to at.

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