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cross one's path

Discussion in 'English Only' started by runnery, May 21, 2007.

  1. runnery Senior Member

    China,Chinese
    I know the general meaning of the phase "cross one's path", for example, "I know I have a cousin in London, but we have not crossed our path.

    I am wondering if this phase is common in daily language. Could you please tell me?

    Thanks.

    Runnery
     
  2. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    "I know I have a cousin in London, but we have not crossed our path"

    This should be "crossed paths" (each person has their own path, which cross). I would say it was not at all common, it sounds a bit old-fashioned or perhaps literary or whimsical. It might be said somewhat ironically, but I think in general you could get through life without using it.



     
  3. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I know I have a cousin in London, but we have not crossed our path.

    should be but our paths haven't crossed, or we haven't crossed each other's paths.

    Yes, Runnery, it's quite a common way of saying you haven't met someone.

    P.S. I'm surprised at the Mole's comment about it being unusual. Round here it wouldn't raise an eyebrow. He's right to say it could be but we haven't crossed paths. I should have thought of that.
     
  4. The Scrivener Banned

    On the "naughty step".
    England. English
    No, it isn't used very often in conversation - mostly confined to literature.
     
  5. runnery Senior Member

    China,Chinese
    Thanks for all your response. Actually,I heard this phase in an Enlish program when I watched TV, and the host said " cross one's path" is a set phase. That' why I used " but we have not crossed our path(s)".

    Thanks for your corrections. I am still confused whether it is common in life.It seems that someone uses it in life, while others seldom use it in conversation.
     
  6. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    I guess that depends on your social circles and backgrounds. I, for one, think that it's a common expression.
     
  7. The Scrivener Banned

    On the "naughty step".
    England. English
    I don't use it, nor have I heard it used in a very long time.

    We have an old saying - "You will have good luck if a black cat crosses your path." (Some people say "you will have bad luck ....".)
     
  8. raffavita

    raffavita Senior Member

    Rome
    italian
    Hello there!
    I too have a question about this expression.

    When someone crosses someone else's path, what happens exactly?

    I found "sbarrare la strada." But actually, they both keep walking.
    I was tempted to translate it as "tagliare la strada" but I can't find this translation anywhere.

    Help, superplease!!!
    Grazie in anticipo.
    Raffuzza
    :):):)
     
  9. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    This is an English only forum, raffavita, and I know there are people who like to keep it that way.

    When you cross someone's path, you meet them in some way. If it happened a long time in the past, it could be that you worked in the same firm for a time, or that your wives were friends and you used to have dinner together.

    I think that often the image is of life as a path between birth and death, and where paths cross you are conscious of being in the same place as the other person at the same time. Obviously this could be for an extended or for a short period. At school or university you have the possibility of meeting many people. It's possible to say we were at school together but our paths never crossed - it means you never consciously met each other.
     
  10. raffavita

    raffavita Senior Member

    Rome
    italian
    Oooops, sorry,
    I was carrying out a research on the web and found the link.
    I didn't realise that it was English only!!
    Sorry. I know many people want to keep it that way, and I never meant to interfere in such a private conversation.
    Thank you very very much for your help, which I do appreciate.
    Best wishes,
    Raffuzza
    :)
     

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