a close call/a narrow escape

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quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to use gunpowder to blow up the king of England! Fawkes was caught in time, but it was a close call/a narrow escape!



Do both a close call and a narrow escape work in the above context? If not, what are the semantic differences between them? Thanks.
 
  • paulmp

    New Member
    US; English
    A close call would be better in this context, but I think they would both work. A narrow escape is a situation in which you were lucky because you just managed to avoid danger or trouble. A close call is a situation where something very unpleasant or dangerous nearly happened.
    "In my early life I had a narrow escape from death by poisoning."
    "Whoops! I almost dropped that vase...close call!"
     

    Prairiefire

    Senior Member
    US (Midwest) - English
    I'd be interested in others' interpretations, but to me a 'narrow escape' implies that the person who avoided harm had to take some action to make good his escape.

    'Close call' implies that it was just due to luck or circumstance that the person was not harmed.
     

    paulmp

    New Member
    US; English
    I agree with Prairiefire...In the sentence, "On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to use gunpowder to blow up the king of England! Fawkes was caught in time, but it was a ___"
    I would use "a close call" because apparently, the torch that was going to be used to light the gunpowder was snatched from Fawkes's hand right before he completed the task.
     

    gregitaliano

    Senior Member
    england
    'That was a close shave, nearly forgetting your passport'

    'Well done to her for coming first, but it was a close run thing' (ie just about winning a race, for example)

    Greg
     

    gregitaliano

    Senior Member
    england
    No, it can be applied to any general situation
    for example-
    'it was a close run thing whether I would catch the train on time'
    or' I think I will reach him in time but it will be a close run thing'
    'the final result was a close run thing, a goal being scored in the final minute of the match'
     

    ManOfWords

    Senior Member
    Português [Brasil]
    hi there, could I say [a lightning almost hit me ... phew! that was a close call!] thanks
     
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