a boyfriend-level gift

Siavash2015

Senior Member
Iranian-Persian
Dear all,
In the TV show "How I Met Your Mother"
Ted explains why and how he dumped his girlfriend.

His friend: why did you guys break up?

Ted: I didn't want to get a boyfriend-level gift for a girl I was just about to break up with.

What's the meaning of boyfriend-level and can you please make some examples of the suffix "level"?
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    It's not a suffix, Siavash2015. "Boyfriend" is being used as an adjective modifying "level" here. Ted didn't want to get his girlfriend the quality (level) of gift a boyfriend would buy a girlfriend.

    The dialogue makes more sense if you don't delete part of it. Here's what you quoted in another thread:

    His friend: Why did you guys break up?
    Ted: And her birthday might have been coming up.
    His friend: Aha!
    Ted: Okay, so I didn't want to get a boyfriend-level gift for a girl I was just about to break up with.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    As a boyfriend, he would feel obliged to buy an expensive gift, one that a boyfriend would give (hence, "boyfriend-level), despite the fact that the relationship was about to end. Hypothetically, if they were just friends he'd only buy a less expensive friend-level gift, for comparison.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A boyfriend-level gift would probably also be more personal and have more emotional meaning. You could spend the same amount of money on a gift for your sister and a gift for your girlfriend but the one for your girlfriend would be special in a different way than the one for your sister. It's a way of making a commitment. He didn't want to spend a lot of money and pretend to make an emotional commitment to a girl he was going to break up with soon.
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    It's not a suffix, Siavash2015. "Boyfriend" is being used as an adjective modifying "level" here. Ted didn't want to get his girlfriend the quality (level) of gift a boyfriend would buy a girlfriend.

    The dialogue makes more sense if you don't delete part of it. Here's what you quoted in another thread:

    His friend: Why did you guys break up?
    Ted: And her birthday might have been coming up.
    His friend: Aha!
    Ted: Okay, so I didn't want to get a boyfriend-level gift for a girl I was just about to break up with.
    Hi Florentina. Thanks a million:)
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    As a boyfriend, he would feel obliged to buy an expensive gift, one that a boyfriend would give (hence, "boyfriend-level), despite the fact that the relationship was about to end. Hypothetically, if they were just friends he'd only buy a less expensive friend-level gift, for comparison.
    Thank you very much.
    I'm not yet confident to make sentences with "level" like boyfriend-level.
    Can you please make a couple of examples in which "level" is used that way?
     

    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Deciding whether one company should merge with another is an executive-level decision (i.e., a decision that can be made only by a person or persons at the executive level within the company, and not by employees at lower levels.)
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    Deciding whether one company should merge with another is an executive-level decision (i.e., a decision that can be made only by a person or persons at the executive level within the company, and not by employees at lower levels.)
    Hi Hercules.
    Thank you.
    Do my examples make any sense?

    I drew an artist-level drawing.
    I sang a singer-level song.
     

    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Hi Hercules.
    Thank you.
    Do my examples make any sense?

    I drew an artist-level drawing.
    I sang a singer-level song.
    In a sense, anyone who draws a picture is an artist and anyone who sings a song is a singer. Therefore those qualifiers don't say a lot to me. I think I understand what you mean by "artist-level drawing", but I wouldn't say it that way; I might instead say "a professional-level drawing" (or better, "professional-caliber"). As for the song, I find "singer-level" mystifying. What do you mean? That the performance was particularly good, or that the song was particularly difficult, or what?
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    In a sense, anyone who draws a picture is an artist and anyone who sings a song is a singer. Therefore those qualifiers don't say a lot to me. I think I understand what you mean by "artist-level drawing", but I wouldn't say it that way; I might instead say "a professional-level drawing" (or better, "professional-caliber"). As for the song, I find "singer-level" mystifying. What do you mean? That the performance was particularly good, or that the song was particularly difficult, or what?
    Professional-level and professional-caliber are exactly what I meant.
    By singer-level I was trying to say as good as a professional singer but I now realized it's an awkward sentence.
    How about this?
    We played a master league-level soccer in our previous match " implying our soccer was as good as the teams in master league."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    We played master league-level soccer in our previous match " implying our soccer was as good as the teams in master league. It's an adjective. It shouldn't have "a" in front.

    She was a Broadway-level singer. She was good enough to sing in a play on Broadway, the top venue in the U.S.
    Or She had Broadway-level talent.

    Although those work correctly as sentences, it would be more likely someone would say,
    She has the talent to sing on Broadway.
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    We played master league-level soccer in our previous match " implying our soccer was as good as the teams in master league. It's an adjective. It shouldn't have "a" in front.

    She was a Broadway-level singer. She was good enough to sing in a play on Broadway, the top venue in the U.S.
    Or She had Broadway-level talent.

    Although those work correctly as sentences, it would be more likely someone would say,
    She has the talent to sing on Broadway.
    I got it completely. Thanks a million Kentix.:):thumbsup:
     
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