Author: zhangxs

Why not take a breath??? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-3-3 23:35:31 |Display all floors
Hi, Hwgr01, I beg to differ.

They have very different meanings as our american friend had said :-)here's more on this topic: ... mp;highlight=breath

So, I think "take a breather" is not so much a Britiish version of "take a breath"  as a synonym of  "take a rest/break".

The point is, if you say "take a breath", it means either literally or offensively. I think, in most cases, we don't mean to use it literally except when we're talking to someone making speech standing on a podium, so to speak. So I think "take a breather" "take a rest", "take a break", etc would be preferable.

Hope it helps

[ Last edited by hly2008 at 2007-3-3 11:49 PM ]

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Post time 2007-3-4 00:22:24 |Display all floors
I am not convinced by the the answers from the other forum. They are neither decisive nor authoritative.

I might have over-simplified the difference by arbitrarily labelling "take a breath" as US and "take a breather" as British.

My view is : (quoting one of the answers from the other forum) To take a breath: original meaning: "to inhale". by extension, it can also mean "to stop what you are doing for a short while", "to take a break"........

take a breath = take a breather

It is very common to find "er" being added onto a word in England, sometimes to emphasise an idea, and most other times to add wittiness to an expression.

e.g. Let's do a runner = Let's run = Let's escape

This style is commonly found in cockney English.

The expression "take a breather" might have originated from England and might have subsequently taken on by the other part of the world.......... I am not 100% sure ..... but I am definitely not impressed by the answers from the other forum.

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Post time 2007-3-4 04:23:36 |Display all floors
Originally posted by hwgr01 at 2007-3-3 08:22 AM
take a breath = take a breather
Not exactly.

take a breather  = take a rest, take a break
[It's not a very common expression.]

take a breath = inhale, take a moment to inhale

Your distinction—that take a breath is more literal—seems right, hly.

-er ending as an English ending
Maybe, that could be.

[size=-2]["American friend"—I like that, hly. :) ]

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Post time 2007-3-4 16:15:08 |Display all floors
What I meant was :

When "take a breath" adopts the meaning of "taking a rest" (and not inhaling),.......

take a breath = take a breather

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