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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    to be on the safe side

    Dear teachers,

    There is an expression (please see below the written in bold) which attracted my attention.

    "It’s a fairly classical case and any other diagnosis is quite unlikely, but we do need to check a few other things, just to be on the safe side."

    Would you be kind enough explain to me the genesis of the mentioned above expression.

    I know the following meaning about the present expression namely “if you do something to be on the safe side you do it as a precaution, in case something unexpected happens” as in:

    “I will be back in an hour, but just to be on the safe side, I’d give you a number you can call in case you need me.”

    From the second hand I know another meaning namely “avoiding danger, with a margin for error” as in:

    Just to be on the safe side, let’s order another hundred chairs.”

    I think the point of the matter consists in the meaning “just in case” , “be ready for any eventuality”.

    Regards.

    V.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: to be on the safe side

    Here it means that they want to do the further tests to eliminate the very small potential for error in the diagnosis, to confirm that this case indeed fits the general pattern. There's also an element of reassurance that comes across: there's no need to worry about the tests because they don't think there's anything out of the ordinary here, but they would like to be able to confirm that.

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: to be on the safe side

    Hi Tdol,

    Thank you for your elaborate explanation. Now I am the wiser for the situation in question.

    Regards.

    V.

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