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    #1

    "to taper"

    hi,

    i took notice of this verb recently.

    it means "to reduce", right?

    i would like to know if i can use it in any situation?

    are natives used to using it?

    thanks,
    jc

  1. buggles's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "to taper"

    It is more usual to use "taper off" rather than just "taper".
    We could say the demand for pumpkins tapers off after Halloween, for instance.
    You could use it for any situation where things reduce gradually or in stages and, yes, native speakers use the expression frequently.


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    #3

    Re: "to taper"

    I smoke too much, maybe 10 cigarettes a day. I'll cut it down to eight a day, then six a day, and so on. I'm tapering off.

    regards
    edward
    Quote Originally Posted by buggles View Post
    It is more usual to use "taper off" rather than just "taper".
    We could say the demand for pumpkins tapers off after Halloween, for instance.
    You could use it for any situation where things reduce gradually or in stages and, yes, native speakers use the expression frequently.

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    #4

    Re: "to taper"

    hi,

    it seems to be adequate to use this verb only when the reduction is gradual, right?

    which verb should i use when the reduction happens quickly?

    thanks,
    jc


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    #5

    Re: "to taper"

    There's a great expression for quitting smoking (or any other drug) abruptly.
    You quit cold turkey.
    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    Here are some phrases that indicated a quick reduction.

    It came to a sudden halt.
    He cut it off in a hurry.
    He decided to knock it off.
    He just quit.
    He quit just like that.
    All of a sudden he quit what he was doing.
    It was a filthy habit, and she had to put the kibosh on it.
    He stopped dead in his tracks.

    Good luck finding more examples on your own!
    edward

    There are easily dozens of expressions like this, some formal, some colloquial.

    it seems to be adequate to use this verb only when the reduction is gradual, right?

    which verb should i use when the reduction happens quickly?

    thanks,
    jc

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    #6

    Re: "to taper"

    Hi jctgt,

    There are a few words concerning the wonderful baqarah131's example above.

    "quit cold turkey" = to completely quit and go off something all of a sudden. For example if you were coming off drugs, you could go "cold turkey" and just completely stop taking them, not just decrease the amount you are taking until you aren't taking any.

    A suggestion of origin is that "cold turkey " is a dish that need little or no preparation. "To quit like cold turkey" would be to quit in the same way a cold turkey is served, instantly just as you are without preparation.

    Regards.

    V.

  2. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "to taper"

    Nicely stated, vil!

    Cheers,
    Amigos4

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    #8

    Re: "to taper"

    hi,

    is it OK to say the sentences below?

    "I need to taper off the amount of calories I ingest every day"

    "I need to taper off my monthly expenses"

    "I feel a little lazy nowadays. My energy has tapered off along the years"

    thanks,
    jc


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    #9

    Re: "to taper"

    A few suggestions.
    "Ingest" is a rare word. I'd prefer the Anglo-Saxon "take in."
    "along the years" is not an English expression. I suggest:
    ...over the years
    ...in recent years
    ...the last few years
    ...now that I'm getting older.

    As to the main question, I don't like using "taper off" with an object. I'd say:

    I'm taking in too many calories every day. I need to taper off.
    I'm spending too much money. I need to taper off.

    (or better yet: I need to watch it. Or I need to be more careful with my money.)

    To my ear, "My energy has tapered off" sounds perfect.

    I enjoy answering your questions, but I'll be going back to work on January 2, and my contributions to usingenglish.com will taper off.

    regards
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    is it OK to say the sentences below?

    "I need to taper off the amount of calories I ingest every day"

    "I need to taper off my monthly expenses"

    "I feel a little lazy nowadays. My energy has tapered off along the years"

    thanks,
    jc

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