Dan Smith
Real-word idioms: "See you then."
Textbooks and websites like to give lists of amusing and colorful idioms. Some of them are hardly used at all, and many are not really fundamental parts of the language.

I post about "real-world idioms" when I become conscious of having used or heard one that isn't usually found on lists.

"See you then" means "We've agreed that I will see you at that time." "We've agreed" is understood. The phrase is a shortening of "I will see you then." The word <em>then</em> has a number of different meanings. In "See you then," it means "at that time."

"What time can we get together?"
"Does 2 pm work for you?"
"Sure. OK. See you then!"

(<em>Then</em> can also mean "accordingly" or "therefore." One can invent a conversation,
"Whom will I be seeing, you or Joe?"
"Joe will be out of the office Wednesday, I'll be in."
"OK, I'll be seeing <em>you</em>, then."
However, in the idiomatic phrase "See you then," it means "at that time.")
Jun 1, 2020 9:57 PM
Comments · 7
And I'll see you then then, then. ohh! and what time was it ? we said then.
June 11, 2020
Dan, I love your “real world idioms” series — if only it were more popular. It’s true that websites and teachers tend to go for the same list of clickbait idioms with little practical application, while ignoring the less colorful but far more important ones that we use all the time.

Personally, I get a kick out of using “then” twice — once meaning “at that time”, and once meaning “therefore”: “See you then, then!”
June 3, 2020
I agree with Phil that your real-world idioms posts deserve more attention. You don't pose a question or invite people to share their own weekly idiom usage, so maybe more people don't comment because nobody's sure what to add?

So I'll add a couple time-related idioms that I've used in the past week:

* "Better late than never." I wrote this to a friend this week after he invited me to play a word game on Facebook and I didn't respond for a few days.

* "Hold your horses!" It means "Wait." I own four parrots, and parrots aren't very patient creatures. So I actually say "Hold your horses!" to a roomful of screaming parrots on a regular basis. It's not polite enough to say to a boss or professor, but it's common enough that I think most Americans would understand it.
June 11, 2020
July 23, 2020
July 21, 2020
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Dan Smith
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language