Yami
What's the right word for this? So here is an example situation: My friend and I go to a cafe. We both want a cheesecake but there’s one left. So I decide to choose something else so that my friend can get a cheesecake. One more example: We enter a bus and there’s only one seat and he allows me to have it. What is this action called? I know the idiom "throw someone a bone" but I feel like it has a bit of a mercenary meaning. The verbs "to yield", " to concede", "to give up", "to step back" also have negative meanings. The phrase "let someone have it" even though sounds quite logical in this case, still means a very negative "to attack someone". Is there a positive word for this kind of action? Preferrably, a noun and a verb
Oct 10, 2019 7:12 PM
Answers · 5
"Let _____ have ______" is what you would say. In the first example, you let your friend have the cheesecake. "Let them have it" rarely means violence. It depends on context. If you're talking about how you let someone have something, it has a positive meaning. If you got mad and punched someone, then it has a negative meaning. The negative form of "let them have it" basically implies that Person A let Person B have a punishment.
October 11, 2019
Thank you!
October 11, 2019
used in this context "give up" doesn't have a negative meaning since doing the action is considered to be polite or courteous. "I gave up on the cheesecake so she could have it."
October 10, 2019
"Throw a bone" has a negative meaning. It is like giving someone your scraps (leftovers). It sounds like you really don't like the person so you are going to give something just to appease him or her. "To yield, concede, or step back" do not sound natural. The best choice is "to give up." This phrase is not necessarily negative sounding to a native speaker. Example: "I gave up my seat on the bus to a pregnant lady."
October 10, 2019
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Yami
Language Skills
English, German, Russian
Learning Language
German