I had another thing coming / another think coming

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Marlouze, Jun 10, 2007.

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  1. Marlouze Senior Member

    Ohio, USA
    France, French
    Hi all,
    could you please explain the meaning of the following sentence: "If I thought John would be upset at this news, I had another thing coming."
    Context: a girl and a guy (they're a couple), are talking, and the girl said something to him that could have made him jealous and then the girl (who is also the narrator) gives the above comment.
    Thanks for helping!!
     
  2. Marlouze Senior Member

    Ohio, USA
    France, French
    sorry, actually, it's "I have another think coming"
     
  3. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian
    No, I think :) you were right the first time.

    I'm not sure what the expression means in this case, but I've heard it before. Might be that she was completely wrong when she assumed that John would be upset. Instead, he... I don't know, tried to strangle her ?:D
     
  4. Marlouze Senior Member

    Ohio, USA
    France, French
    Actually, I saw that both "think" and "thing" are correct in the expression, "thing" being more recent than "think". So it means she assumed the wrong thing; got it. Thanks very much Trisia.
     
  5. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    J'étais complètement à côté de la plaque?
     
  6. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian
    Actually, I'd very much like to know how think could be used here:confused:

    I've never in my life heard this expression.
     
  7. samdebretagne Junior Member

    Bretagne
    USA, English
    I have never heard "think" used with this expression either.
     
  8. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    It's true. The original expression was "to have another think coming," meaning 'to be totally mistaken.

    Akin to: "Think so? Think again!"

    Gave way to 'thing' a long time ago, in AE at least. Not sure about other genres.
     
  9. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    So "j'étais complètement à côté de la plaque" fits well. (Ouf! :) )
     
  10. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian
    Goes to show I'm too young for these discussions ;):D

    Thanks mgarizona for clarifying this. But I feel the original expression was not really grammatically correct, was it... I would imagine it would be "I had another thought coming"?:confused: Or does it simply mean I would get a reply like "Think again, buster"?

    By the way, pieanne, I love the expression you found
     
  11. pyan

    pyan Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    English, UK, London
    The WordReference dictionary does not have "think" as a noun, but it exists. Cambridge Advanced Learners' Dictionary says it is "UK, to consider something for some time." "I had another think coming" means she was going to reflect deeply on something, consider it carefully. A "thought" can be transient, but a "good think" is memorable.

    I found mgarizona's explanation of the change to "thing" in American English interesting.
     
  12. Marlouze Senior Member

    Ohio, USA
    France, French
    Hello again, I wrote "Je croyais que James serait contrarié par cette nouvelle, mais je me trompai fort", in my translation. Do you agree?
     
  13. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    "Mais je me trompai fort" sounds a bit literary...

    Another possibility could be "mais j'étais complètement à l'ouest"
     
  14. Blootone

    Blootone Senior Member

    Saorstát na hÉireann
    English, Français
    Interesting - I had never before encountered the AE expression "another thing coming". I have to say that I don't see how it makes sense...

    In British, Irish and NZ English, it is definitely still "another think coming".
     
  15. edwingill Senior Member

    England English
  16. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    I'm sure it's the rareness of 'think' as a noun which lead people hearing "another think coming" to assume they were hearing "anothing thing coming."

    Unless one uses careful enunciation to separate the two K sounds one hears 'another thinkoming' which breaks down, to AE ears, more naturally to 'another thin' coming' than to 'another think coming' if one isn't used to hearing 'think' as a noun.
     
  17. edwingill Senior Member

    England English
    to have another think coming is in my Oxford Concise Dic
     
  18. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    I disagree. I grew up in New Zealand and never before had I heard "think coming" until now. I always thought it was thing coming.
     
  19. Bilbo53 New Member

    FRANCE
    France - Français
    The french subtitles in a movie went: "Je me faisais des illusions".
    I think it could fit well in that context.
     
  20. rosieg Senior Member

    Beirut, Lebanon
    England, English
    I would agree with Blootone. People learning English very often write -ing instead of -ink ("I thing that...") but they are not the only ones. The -ing ending is so common even many native English speakers erroneously use it for -ink.

    And yes its linked to the fact that it sounds the same when said quickly. Just like many native English speakers say and even write (especially children/young people) "I would of had/done" instead of "I would have had/done", because "would've" sounds identical to "would of" in spoken English.
     
  21. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    Right. The BE expression is definitely "to have another think coming", but I managed to reach at least my teens before I discovered this. I had always said "another thing coming", and assumed everyone else did. Given that the pronunciation of the two are almost identical, it's not that surprising.
     
  22. McButtons Junior Member

    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland, English UK
    "If I thought John would be upset at this news, I had another thing coming."

    It means...I would be proven wrong/I was in for a surprise/I was fooling myself
     
  23. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    That's correct McButtons, but have you read the whole thread about whether it is "thing" or "think"?
     
  24. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    -So many posts, so little French. :p

    P.S. :) Welcome to the forum, bilbo53!
     
  25. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Pour garder l'idée de réflexion :
    j'allais devoir revoir toute ma façon de penser
     
  26. McButtons Junior Member

    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland, English UK
    Yes, I had - which is why I suggested "another thing coming". Personally I have never ever heard "I had another think coming" and if it were to appear in a British newspaper for example it would definitely raise an eyebrow.
     
  27. orlando09 Senior Member

    France, PACA
    English (England)
    I'm English (and a newspaper reporter) - I agree that - IMO - this expression was originally "think", and no, it's not especially grammatical - it's a (somewhat old-fashioned sounding to me) slangy, working-class sort of expression. It means you were mistaken - you need to think again. It makes less sense with "thing", though I can see how people might have started saying "thing" by mis-hearing. After all, language changes, and idioms don't always make logical sense.

    You can see how "think" looks right, because it is always used with "think"in the first part of the phrase -- eg. "If you think your dad is going to be pleased when he hears how badly you did in the exam, you've got another think coming, my lad" [ i.e. you'll be thinking differently about the situation later on]
     
  28. calembourde

    calembourde Senior Member

    Genève, Suisse
    New Zealand, English
    Very interesting, I always thought it was 'thing' (that's the only version I'd heard) but I guess I had another think coming. ;) However, there's already a very interesting thread on the think/thing question, so we can focus on the translation here. :) Having said that, I don't have any suggestions.
     
  29. orlando09 Senior Member

    France, PACA
    English (England)
    :D I can;t think of an idiomatic expression - for the original phrase I'd say something like : si je pensais qu'il allait se facher, et bien, je me trompais
     
  30. orlando09 Senior Member

    France, PACA
    English (England)
    yes, actually, thinking about it, "think' is sometimes used as a noun in BE. e.g. "You're not sure you want to do it? OK, have a think about it and come back tomorrow"
     
  31. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Could we focus on translation, please? ;)
    What does anyone thing think of my suggestion?
     
  32. orlando09 Senior Member

    France, PACA
    English (England)
    OK ;) Well, IMHO this looks best so far - J'étais complètement à côté de la plaque

    Even though I'm not very familiar with this expression, it looks like it has the right kind of informal register about it, compared to "Je me faisais des illusions/ j'allais devoir revoir toute ma façon de penser or je me trompais fort/ which I would place in that order from slightly too formal, to rather archaic
     
  33. pyan

    pyan Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    English, UK, London
    Moderator note: Now there is a link to an active English Only thread in Calembourde's post, please do not post any more discussions of the English terms in this thread. As Egueule says in another post above, let's concentrate on the translation.

    I have not put post numbers in the two posts mentioned as these will change if the thread is cleaned up for future research.
     
  34. Auryn

    Auryn Senior Member

    London
    France, French
    I agree. Je me mettais le doigt dans l'œil is another possible translation.
     
  35. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Hi Auryn,
    I also agree, your suggestion and Pieanne's are the best.
    Mine didn't catch the right tone. :)
     
  36. Auryn

    Auryn Senior Member

    London
    France, French
    Hello Egueule,

    Yours is a bit too... polite, shall we say :D

    (La reine d'Angleterre au prince Charles: "Mon fils, si vous croyez que Camilla sera jamais reine, vous allez devoir revoir toute votre façon de penser!")
     
  37. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    LOL. I didn't think it sounded so uptight. I would say it, and could summon witnesses who'd swear I'm not uptight.
    Only kidding of course, I perfectly get your point. :)
     
  38. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Montréal
    Français, Québec ♀
    Whether it's think or thing... I wouldn't translate it the same way.

    I always thought that it was thing and understood it like elaineg in this post from the English thread. Or as McButtons posted earlier, I was in for a surprise.

    In which case, my translation would have been something in the lines of (but it's getting late)
    Tu ne sais pas ce qui t'attend / attend un peu de voir ce qui t'attend
    J'allais avoir tout un choc

    With think - which I'm now (almost;)) convinced that is right, my vote goes to Pieanne's j'étais complètement à côté de la plaque ou à la québécoise... j'étais carrément à côté de la traque
    I also like Auryn's je me mettais le doigt dans l'oeil.

    my last effort:
    J'allais bientôt être ramenée sur terre / être détrompée
     
  39. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Montréal
    Français, Québec ♀
    And your suggestion for a translation is...? ;)

    I just thought of another one which might fit... although not as colloquial : Je me trompais royalement
     
  40. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    k
    I think that nothing constructive can be added to the thread as to the meaning, the spelling (<sigh>) or the translation of this phrase (see pieanne's posts #5 and 13, bilbo's one #19, Auryn's one #34 and Nicomon's one #39).

    Thank you all for your contributions! I hope you had fun participating in this discussion. :)

    Nevertheless, this thread is now closed.

    Agnès
    Moderator
     
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