A close call

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  • gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Antonio said:
    Hi Group,

    What does "A close call" means? And I have an example "Wow, that was a close call"
    1) "a close call"="something that nearly happened"

    In this sense, it has to do with something bad that almost happened.

    1) in sports, it means that a decision was made by a referee or referees about a "play" that was hard to make a decision about. Often such "close calls" are controversial.

    G
     

    mylam

    Senior Member
    United States English
    Antonio said:
    Hi Group,

    What does "A close call" means? And I have an example "Wow, that was a close call"
    One correction, Antonio. :)

    "A close call" can mean that something almost happened, but didn't quite, as in "Wow, that ball almost hit me" or "Wow, the teacher almost saw me sneak in late".

    It can also mean that a result (of a race, for example) was uncertain. "Who came in first?" "I don't know, it was a close call."

    Myla
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Antonio said:
    "A close call" has something to do, with something that happened bad or not necessarily?
    When it is not connected with sports, the second meaning I gave you, I can't even think of ONE example where it is about anything good. So I would say it has to do with soemthing bad that almost happened.

    G
     

    mylam

    Senior Member
    United States English
    Antonio said:
    "A close call" has something to do, with something that happened bad or not necessarily?
    In the sense of something that almost happened, yes, the "something" is generally bad. It's like "I escaped, but just barely!"
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Antonio said:
    "A close call" has something to do, with something that happened bad or not necessarily?

    Definition
    close shave noun [C] (ALSO close call)
    when you come extremely close to a dangerous or unpleasant situation or only just manage to avoid it:
    I had a close shave this morning, - some idiot almost knocked me off my bike.

    (from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Artrella said:
    Definition
    close shave noun [C] (ALSO close call)
    when you come extremely close to a dangerous or unpleasant situation or only just manage to avoid it:
    I had a close shave this morning, - some idiot almost knocked me off my bike.

    (from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
    Not to be confused with a "near miss", the airline companies STUPID phrase for a "close call" when two planes almost collide!

    <waving to Art>

    Gaer
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    gaer said:
    When it is not connected with sports, the second meaning I gave you, I can't even think of ONE example where it is about anything good. So I would say it has to do with soemthing bad that almost happened.
    Ah no, it can be good, too.

    Let's say you are on the game show Surviror and they are voting people off. If it comes down to a tie between you and another player, and then the other player gets voted off, you would say "Wow, that was a close call; I was almost forced to leave".

    Let's say you fudge your taxes. A few months go by and you are not audited by the IRS. You would say that you had a very close call -- you were almost arrested.


    If you want something not to happen, having a close call is good.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Nick said:
    Ah no, it can be good, too.

    Let's say you are on the game show Surviror and they are voting people off. If it comes down to a tie between you and another player, and then the other player gets voted off, you would say "Wow, that was a close call; I was almost forced to leave".

    Let's say you fudge your taxes. A few months go by and you are not audited by the IRS. You would say that you had a very close call -- you were almost arrested.


    If you want something not to happen, having a close call is good.
    Right, and just think of the first Bush presidency, the election. What better example of a a "close call". It was good or bad according to who you voted for. :)

    Gaer
     

    mnzrob

    Senior Member
    Chicago English and German
    Nick said:
    Ah no, it can be good, too.

    Let's say you are on the game show Surviror and they are voting people off. If it comes down to a tie between you and another player, and then the other player gets voted off, you would say "Wow, that was a close call; I was almost forced to leave".

    Let's say you fudge your taxes. A few months go by and you are not audited by the IRS. You would say that you had a very close call -- you were almost arrested.


    If you want something not to happen, having a close call is good.
    These are good examples, but they're still examples of something bad almost happening, but then the outcome was good. To change it around, the person in your Survivor example that DID get voted off, couldn't really say, "That was a close call", but he/she could say "that was close". I thin "that was a close call" does always refer to something bad that almost happened.
    Rob
     

    te gato

    Senior Member
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Artrella said:
    I think that "call" refers to God calling you to go up there with Him. :rolleyes:
    Hey Art;

    He...He..He...
    If you have been in a car accident...or construction accident...yadda, yadda...
    we say "Man! that was a close call..I almost bit it."...:eek:

    te gato;)
     

    Kjka

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hello all!

    I'm going to re-open this thread because I have another question on the use of the expression in the object: close call.

    I'm translating a series of comic strips, where there are two characters who are piloting a plane. They're flying in the back country and are looking for a place (a runway or an airstrip) to land".

    Copilot: "I can’t believe they shut it down! Why is it still on the map?"
    Pilot: "Relax, we’ll find another one."

    Copilot: "Come on! We need to find a place to land quick!"
    Pilot: "I know, I know! But there’s trees everywhere…"
    Copilot: "This is going to be a CLOSE CALL."

    Pilot: "Here!"
    Copilot: "Finally!"

    I understood from the previous posts that this idiom refers mostly to past events that almost happened but eventually didn't. In this case, how can the characters know whether it will or won't be a close call as it refers to something that has not yet happened?
    Could the meaning here be "it will be tough, but we'll manage it?" or "I'm sure we'll manage it even if it will be by a narrow margin?"

    Sorry for the silly question :-( and thanks for your help :)
     
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