a car tire that has lost air to some extent

Afshin81

Member
Persian - Iran
Hi
how do we describe a car/bike tire which has lost air to some extent, but is not completely flat?
Thank you.
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think that if I was standing looking at a bicycle tyre, the context would make it clear that "it's a bit flat" referred to tyre pressure and did not indicate that the spokes of the wheel weren't quite tuned to middle C, or that the purity of the bicycle bell's "ting" wasn't as it should be.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    A "soft tire" does seem a Britishism to me, but I haven't had enough flat tires to tell.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Keith, yes, it could be "soft", but my idiom is "flat" or "a bit flat". The ngram you linked to isn't much use - the frequencies are very low indeed. Try adding "flat"
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Just when I was about to be a softy ... Andy.

    I think Keith is right about a "soft tyre" being idiomatic British English.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think Keith is right about a "soft tyre" being idiomatic British English.
    perpend, I don't think you are qualified to comment on that, are you?

    Yes, the word "soft" is applied to tyres in BE as is the phrase "a bit flat" - see post #3. I don't recall ever claiming that "soft" isn't idiomatic. All I said was that in my idiolect, I use "a bit flat" rather than "soft". However, if the whim takes me I might put my thumb on my bicycle tyre and say "Hm, that's a bit soft". I probably wouldn't bother blowing it up. However, if it was noticeably soft, I'd say "Oh, that's a bit flat", and I'd blow it up. However, this thread asked about car tyres as well. Pushing on a car tyre with a thumb is pretty useless as a way of assessing inflation, so I wouldn't measure the pressure, find it low, and then say "It's a bit soft". I'd say "It's a bit flat" and I'd blow it up.
     
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