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  1. Natasha33

    Question Accident waiting to happen


    I read this sentence 'The exam was an accident waiting to happen'

    Is that some sort of an idiom - why didn't they say 'a disaster waiting to happen' for instance and what is meant by the idiom anyway- that they expect the exam's going to be hard?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: Accident waiting to happen

    They could have said "disaster" -- but either way, yes, it's an idiom.

    An accident waiting to happen is a dangerous situation that is almost certain to end in an accident: for example, a banana skin on a footpath might be described as an accident waiting to happen.

    In this context, I think the idiom doesn't quite fit, and "disaster" might make more sense; but it is obviously intended to mean that the exam was expected to be extremely hard, most likely because the students hadn't prepared for it properly.

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