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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #1

    can u help me with the expression?

    Can I take a look at your list of candidates for student body president?

    B:Yes, here it is. All the candidates have good qualities. It's going to be a close race this year.

    A: After looking at this, I think you're probably right. But campaign strategies can make all the difference. They can take a tie and break it.


    What does the sentence in bold mean? Is that an idiomatic expression? Which one is it?

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    #2

    Re: can u help me with the expression?

    Hello Besthost, welcome to Using English!

    When two contestants in a competition have an equal number of points, it's called a "tie".

    To decide which contestant is the winner, the question-master will ask a special question, called a "tie-breaker".

    The person who answers the "tie-breaker" correctly wins the contest.

    In your context, "campaign strategies" can have the effect of a "tie-breaker", where two candidates are equally matched in other words, they decide who wins.

    "They can take a tie and break it" isn't a set phrase: the speaker has simply extracted the notion that is implicit in "tie-breaker".

    All the best,

    MrP

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    #3

    Re: can u help me with the expression?

    so, "have an equal number of points "means contestants have same advantages or ties, right?

  1. blouen's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: can u help me with the expression?

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    so, "have an equal number of points "means contestants have same advantages or ties, right?
    Yes, if two contestants have equal number of points scored, then it's a tie.
    And to be able to declare the a winner, the tie should be broken first by a tie-breaker.






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    #5

    Re: can u help me with the expression?

    Thank U!

  2. blouen's Avatar
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    #6

    Wink Re: can u help me with the expression?

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    Thank U!
    My pleasure!


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #7

    Re: can u help me with the expression?

    Thanks for the extensive reply. I knew what "tie" meant and now I also know what "to break a tie" means. That's another step ahead :)

    Cheers!

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