studying English in the United States, writes:
difficulty understanding the meaning of done in this sentence:
not done to call your teachers by their first names.
like to know why done doesn't appear to make very much sense
in this sentence in American English.
British English there are a large number of expressions with do/did/done
in regular use.
your example, Navid, it's simply a matter of usage. Americans that
I have consulted would all recognise this expression, as they would
an almost identical expression it's (not) the done thing to,
though they might not use them actively in speech or writing.
British English, both of these expressions are commonly used. The
meaning is that it is (not) socially acceptable to do this.
It may not be politically correct, to use another similar
expression to describe actions which might appear insulting to particular
groups of people (also sometimes referred to as PC and non-PC).
this society, it is quite the done thing to eat
with your hands.
not the done thing to poke fun at disabled people.
not done to remain seated when your National Anthem is played.
is clearly politically incorrect (non-PC) to refer
to childcare workers as nursemaids.
expressions which may appear similar at first glance have quite
different shades of meaning.
of the past participle done in expressions normally suggests
completed action, but whereas done and dusted means successfully
completed and refers to something that you are upbeat about, over
and done with suggests something mildly unpleasant which you
are pleased is now finished:
finally completed that project last month. Yes, it's all
done and dusted.
long last their divorce has come through. Now the whole thing's
over and done with.
about he's done his nut and it's done his nut in?
both of these nut means head, as in nutcase to
describe someone who is crazy or insane. But are these two very
informal expressions the same or different? What do you think?
didn't have time to clear up after the party and my mum's done
was so tired he couldn't concentrate on the details in his contract.
It did his nut in.
they are different. To do your nut means to lose your temper,
to fly into a rage. It did his nut in means that it confused
or bemused him.
what about have done with and do away with? Are these
two informal expressions the same, similar or different?
you still going out with Robert?
No, I've done with him.
done awaywith the death penalty in many countries
similar, though have done with means end relations with someone
and do away with means abolish or put an end to.
we substituted done away with for have done with in
the first example, it would mean murdered!
about do a good turn to and done to a turn? Same,
similar or different?
did me a good turn and took care of Felix while I was on
goose was done to a turn:
lovely soft breast meat with the juices oozing out of it!
different: done to a turn means cooked perfectly and do
a good turn means do someone a favour.
very common use are: Well done! All done! and Done!
But how exactly are they used?
would you like your steak, sir? Well done, please. I don't want to see any blood.
done really well to win first prize! Well done!
you finished that job, Asha?
Yeah, all done.
about you Jim? All done? All done!
I offered you £200 for your old car, would you accept it? Done!
done = cooked thoroughly or slightly overcooked Well done! = words of congratulation for someone who has
done something successfully All done = completely finished Done! = one-word acceptance of an offer or a bet someone
an introduction or greeting, remember that How do you do? and
Hi! How're you doing? are complete opposites in terms of formality
Bob! How're ya doin'?
I'm fine, thanks.
do you do?
How do you do? (Must be accompanied by a handshake and no
you want to practise using some of these phrases look at our Message
Board in the You, Meand Us part of our website.