That will do

W języku angielskim mamy kilka słów, które mają tak wiele możliwych znaczeń, które czasami wydaje się, że mogą one oznaczać niemal wszystko. Jednym z takich słów jest GET. Innym jest DO.

In English we have some words which have so many possible meanings that it sometimes seems that they can mean almost anything. One of these words is “get”. Another is “do”.

In colloquial English, we often use the expression that something “will do”. For example, Kevin is in a clothes shop. He is looking for a new shirt. He sees one that is just right – his size, and his colours (bright orange with green spots). He says “Yes, this one will do.” What does he mean? What will the shirt do?

Kevin goes to the till to buy the shirt. He offers the shop assistant his credit card, and says “Can I pay with this card?” The shop assistant says “Yes, that card will do”. What does she mean? What will the card do?

Kevin gets home. Joanne tells him that her mother is coming to lunch. Kevin is annoyed. He doesn’t like Joanne’s Mum. Joanne’s Mum doesn’t like him much either. So Kevin complains and moans about Joanne’s mum coming to lunch, until Joanne says sharply “Stop it Kevin. That will do.” What does she mean?

“That will do” means “that is satisfactory”, or “that is acceptable”, or “that is enough”. The meaning often depends upon the tone of voice that we use. When Kevin finds his shirt and says “Yes, that will do”, he means “That is great, that is exactly the shirt I want.” When the shop assistant says “Yes, that will do”, she means “yes, we can accept payment with your credit card”. And when Joanne says “Kevin, that will do!” she means “That’s enough Kevin. You’ve said enough!”

Isn’t English difficult!