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  1. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #1

    the world owes one a living

    Hi, Teachers.

    I just learned an idiom '(think) the world owes one a living'.
    I wonder whether I can reword it as 'the world doesn't owe you a living'.
    Can you provide me some advice?

    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia

  2. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #2

    Re: the world owes one a living

    I've heard
    The world owes one something.
    The world doesn't owe one something.

  3. #3

    Re: the world owes one a living

    Hi there

    I think it's fine to say "the world doesn't owe you a living" . In fact I found a quote by the famous American writer Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens),
    "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first."


    The world doesn't owe you a living : means that we must be responsible for ourselves and not expect others to carry us. We must be prepared to carry ourselves in this world , and not just take.

    Cheers!
    Deborah ESL Tutor

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    #4

    Re: the world owes one a living

    not a teacher

    I have only heard of this:
    'the world doesn't owe you a living' - meaning you have to work hard (pull your weight) to earn a living.

  4. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #5

    Re: the world owes one a living

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I've heard
    The world owes one something.
    The world doesn't owe one something. [anything?]

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the world owes one a living

    Yes - if you're a student 'anything' is the safer choice. But what Soup was saying here was that you could use the expression "the world doesn't owe you..." some particular thing.

    (I expect she'll explain it better, but I just happened to be passing.

    b

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