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    #1

    Is it a common proverb in English?

    Hello Everyone,

    Is the following proverb a popular one in English?

    you canít have your cake, and eat it?

    And I would also like to know here if the sentence is similar to " There is a necessary trade-off between ... and..."

    Regards

    Sky


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    #2

    Re: Is it a common proverb in English?

    Is the following proverb a popular one in English?

    you canít have your cake, and eat it?

    And I would also like to know here if the sentence is similar to " There is a necessary trade-off between ... and..."
    Yes, it's pretty common, and it usually goes "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Some people tend to put a comma after the word it, but it commonly appears both ways.

    The idea of there being a necessary trade-off between two things sounds about right as far as the meaning is concerned. In other words, you can't always have everything go your way. Most situations involve some give and take. You have to give up something to get something. For example:

    Sue: You know Jane, since I went back to work full-time, I just haven't been able to spend as much time with my kids as I would like.

    Jane: I know what you mean. After all, there are only twenty-four hours in a day. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.


    Greg

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    #3

    Re: Is it a common proverb in English?

    As a footnote:

    1. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    "Have" here = "be in possession of". Thus a piece of cake may be in your hand ("have") or in your stomach ("eat"); but it can't be in both at the same time.

    The proverb is therefore properly applied to situations where a person desires two incompatible outcomes.

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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    #4

    Re: Is it a common proverb in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post
    Yes, it's pretty common, and it usually goes "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Some people tend to put a comma after the word it, but it commonly appears both ways.

    The idea of there being a necessary trade-off between two things sounds about right as far as the meaning is concerned. In other words, you can't always have everything go your way. Most situations involve some give and take. You have to give up something to get something. For example:

    Sue: You know Jane, since I went back to work full-time, I just haven't been able to spend as much time with my kids as I would like.

    Jane: I know what you mean. After all, there are only twenty-four hours in a day. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Greg
    Many thanks for your kind reply!

    I don't quite understand what you have answered about the relationship between " the cake sentence" and "the trade-off sentence"? Are they similar in meaning? Or just that "cake sentence" is informal and "trade off" sentence is formal?

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    #5

    Re: Is it a common proverb in English?

    It's similar but niot identical IMO- the cake idiom doesn't necessarily imply a trade-off, but simply that you can't expect everything to go your way.

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