it´s down to you

Status
Not open for further replies.

beachboy

Key Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
Could anybody explain and contextualize the expression above?
 

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Hi, Beach Boy,

It's a fairly recent variation of it's up to you, or the ball's in your court/it's your decision/you choose.

'I've done everything I can to sort this out, now it's down to you.'

'Shall I cook dinner or shall we eat out? It's down to you.'

Rover
 

beachboy

Key Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
Thanks, Rover. I had been just trying to figure out the difference between it´s up to you and it´s down to you, and was never able to do it!
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I don't think this one has made it across the Atlantic yet.

If there were several people competing for something, and now you are nearing the end, you might say "It's down to you four" or "It's down to the final two" to mean the numbers have been reduced.

If someone said it was "down to me" to fix a problem, I would think that everyone else had already tried it and failed, so that left only me in the group.
 

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
I've just thought of another use of this expression:

'You're to blame'; 'you're responsible for it'; 'it's your fault'.

* * *

'We lost every game last season and it's down to you - you're a lousy goalkeeper.'

'Sorry, everybody. . . the party was a disaster and it's down to me - I forgot to book the disco.'

Rover
 

beachboy

Key Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
So, could I say to a new employee, who is learning his job: "William, you´re in charge of this group, so it´s down to you to cater to their needs, and do this, and this, and this,...? I mean, would it mean the same as it´s your responsibility to cater to their needs..?
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
So, could I say to a new employee, who is learning his job: "William, you´re in charge of this group, so it´s down to you to cater to their needs, and do this, and this, and this,...? I mean, would it mean the same as it´s your responsibility to cater to their needs..?
You could, but I'd suggest you use "It's up to you" which most natives will understand.
There are problems associated with being an "early adopter" of new phrases:
- many won't understand it.
- some will ask you to justify it.
- If you're a non-native speaker, some will assume you don't know the "correct" phrase.
- A new phrase has more likelihood of not catching on and becoming
[FONT=&quot]passé.

To me, the meaning is something like what Barb said. The image is this: Five names are listed on a board and someone has to complete a task. You are last on the list. The first four try and fail, and their names are progressively crossed off. So, it is literally down to you to complete it. The phrase makes sense to me in this scenario. "Up to you" doesn't have this connotation.


[/FONT]
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top