A cold war

NHHL

Senior Member
Singapore-English
- I want to ask my friend if his parents has ever had a cold war (means they get angry with each other and don't talk to each other for quite a long time) with each other, so I may say these, correct?

"Have your folks ever had a cold war before?"
"Have your parents ever been engaged in a cold war?"

Thanks so much,

NHHL
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't think they'd understand that, unless one was Russian and the other American.

    You might be thinking of the phrase "give the cold shoulder" which means to ignore and not pay any attention to. So I would say "have your parents ever given each other the cold shoulder for a long time?."
     

    Inglip

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I have never heard of 'cold war' that before. So if someone said it to me, I wouldn't understand. But to help you with your sentence, I will just replace it with 'argument.'

    "Have your folks ever had an argument before?" - Correct.
    "Have your parents ever been engaged in an argument?" - Also correct, but the first one sounds more natural.

    Note that in BrE, we don't use the word folks often. We most commonly say 'mum and dad' or second to that 'parents.' Also, in very informal colloquial English, I hear 'rents' a lot. Short for parents. ex 'Is that your rents over there?'
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    "Have your folks ever had a cold war before?"
    I probably would infer the meaning but it would be very strange to hear that and I would certainly ask for clarification just to make sure what you meant.

    "Have your parents ever been engaged in a cold war?"
    On hearing that I would immediately ask "With who?" :)

    Use the advice given by Tazzler and Inglip.
     
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