a sore to the eyes

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
"In many countries the slums are a sore to the eyes."
Could you please tell me if the phrase “a sore to the eyes” is correct?
Does it mean that the slums make someone annoyed?
Thanks.
 
  • emmalee

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, USA
    A sore to the eyes means that it is not something nice to look at. It does not mean to annoy someone. So in your phrase, to make it more easily read for a native speaker you want to say:
    In many countries, slums are an eye sore
    It means the same thing, but worded differently that is more commonly used.
    Again, this means that slums are not nice to see and are not pleasing to the eyes. Instead they are ugly.
     

    booboo678

    Member
    United States, English
    You would not say a sore to the eyesbut an eyesore.

    "In many countries, slums are an eyesore (to foreigners, to visitors, etc.)"

    This means that the slums are unpleasant to see. It does not necessarily mean someone would be angry at them, but simply that it is disagreeable.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    "In many countries the slums are a sore to the eyes."
    Could you please tell me if the phrase “a sore to the eyes” is correct?
    Does it mean that the slums make someone annoyed?
    Thanks.
    I've never heard this phrase before, Mimi. The common word used for something that is ugly (difficult to look at) is "eyesore" ie:

    "That garbage dump on the edge of town is an eyesore"
    "That beat up, rusted, 30-year-old car that he drives is an eyesore"
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It's also a very 'loaded' word, while blight/blot on the landscape etc. are far more neutral.

    (Also: not to be confused with a sight for sore eyes ~ which means the opposite. I'd been working all afternoon without a minute's break. When Deirdre came in bearing a cup of tea, it was a real sight for sore eyes = i.e. it was a very welcome sight: a sight to soothe sore eyes, rather than one to give sore eyes.)
     
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