head down/right off/nowhere near as good at that/So before long/moving back to fade

Status
Not open for further replies.

Maybo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
1. So the stairwell was filled with echoing noise, and I was climbing the steps head down, just following the heels of the person in front, when a voice near me went: "Kath!"

What does "head down" mean?

2. But Christy, she was good, I remember she was. It's funny, she went right off poems when she started her painting. And she was nowhere near as good at that.

What do "right off" and " nowhere near as good at that" mean?

3. So before long Tommy had gone back to his original defence, producing work that seemed deliberately childish, work that said he couldn't care less.

What does "So before long" mean?

4.He came over with a delighted smile, and we stood together for a moment without saying much-not out of awkwardness, but because we were waiting for any interest aroused by Tommy's moving back to fade.

What does "moving back to fade" mean?

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
https://archive.org/stream/NeverLetMeGo/NeverLetMeGo_djvu.txt
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
1. It's meant literally. She was looking down.
2. a. I don't know what it means here.
b. She wasn't as good at that as she was at something else.
3. A short time afterward
4. a. Nothing.
b. They were waiting for the interest to fade.
c. The interest was aroused by Tommy moving back.
 

SoothingDave

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
She stopped doing poems when she started painting. And she was not as good at painting as she was at poetry.
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I have never stopped "doing" poems, so I didn't know what that meant.
;-)
 

SoothingDave

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
You didn't write them off?
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
No. Because I still write them.
;-)
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
4. ". . . we were waiting for any interest aroused by Tommy's moving back to fade."

When interest (or curiosity, anger, delight, or any other feeling) slowly goes away, we might say it fades, fades out, or fades away.

Tommy had moved back - that is, he was now putting less effort into the work.

They didn't want to comment until Tommy's self-protective "defence" was forgotten.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Maybo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
"Write off" means finish?
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
No, it doesn't.
 

Maybo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
What does it mean?
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Have you tried looking it up yourself? Here's one of the hits you would have found if you had Googled "definition of write off phrasal verb". See if you can work out which of the five possible meanings fits your example.
 

Maybo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Have you tried looking it up yourself? Here's one of the hits you would have found if you had Googled "definition of write off phrasal verb". See if you can work out which of the five possible meanings fits your example.
Yes! Does it mean ignore or give up poems?
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
"Write off" means finish?

The phrase isn't "went write off," it's "went right off." There, it means "immediately quit."

Your problem is that you're reading colloquial English, not standard textbook English. Is this a reading assignment, or are you reading for fun? Or for practice?
 
Last edited:

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Have you tried looking it up yourself? Here's one of the hits you would have found if you had Googled "definition of write off phrasal verb". See if you can work out which of the five possible meanings fits your example.

True enough, but that won't help explain the sentence. The text says "right off," not "write off."
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
The phrase isn't "went write off," it's "went right off." There, it means "immediately quit."

Your problem is that you're reading colloquial English, not standard textbook English. Is this a reading assignment, or are you reading for fun? Or for practice?
Our somewhat unfortunate OP is trying to understand a little jovial banter that appeared in the thread. See post #5.
 

Maybo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Maybo, don't worry. All of your questions have been answered. As for the right off/write off thing it's just a kind of play on words. It's not truly relevant to your questions on this thread.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top