be sober, become sober

< Previous | Next >

KYC

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hello, there:
I am learning a term "sober".
I looked it up in dictionaries. One of it says "When you are sober, you are not drunk."
Hopefully, I didn't misunderstand it.

Here are my tries:

1.Although he drinks a lot everytime, He is never drunk. He is always sober.
2.When he heard the news, the man drunken became sober immediately.

Could you take a look at them?
Thanks a lot!
 
  • shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Yes, almost.
    1. If he drinks a lot we might rephrase and say; 'he remains sober'.
    2. We generally use the term here as in ;... it soon sobered him up, or he was sobered up by he news.
     

    KYC

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks for your correction and clarification.
    I learn more from it.
    Very helpful!:)
     

    shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    I like Rover's distinction between 'remains' and 'appears'. My version was an attempt to stay as close to your original as possible. Whereas Rover's example is exactly as it would be expressed by a native speaker.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    If you used either expression to describe somebody's sobriety an English speaker would understand you. Used in writing, you would need to be more precise. To be sober would mean that the person is not under the influence and it describes his behavior at the time. To become sober is is to change a way of life from one who has a drinking problem to one who accepts sobriety. Compare these situations: Joe's family won't take him along to any church affairs because he won't be sober. Or, Joe's family was invited to the wedding now that Joe has joined AA and become sober.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hi,

    I drank some beer and someone said “You’re drunk” and I wonder if I can say:

    No, I’m sober.

    I think it’s short and clear; it’s fine.

    Am I right? Thanks a lot
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The OP seems to suggest a narrow use of this adjective. It should be noted, for the record, that "sober" is also used in contexts unrelated to alcohol.
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I like Rover's distinction between 'remains' and 'appears'. My version was an attempt to stay as close to your original as possible. Whereas Rover's example is exactly as it would be expressed by a native speaker.
    I like it as well, and I think your point is good. The problem is that the original, "Although he drinks a lot everytime, He is never drunk. He is always sober." contains a term that is subjective; "a lot". Who knows what that means, and who knows what we put into the word "sober", as both the OP and Parla pointed out:

    The OP seems to suggest a narrow use of this adjective. It should be noted, for the record, that "sober" is also used in contexts unrelated to alcohol.
    I think that's what the OP is getting at in his second sentence, or at least the only reasonable interpretation of it. After all, one can't literally sober up immediately just by hearing something. Actual intoxication is a biological state, not a mental one.

    And in the first case which I quoted I think it could literally be true. It's possible that a person finds that drinking three large beers constitutes "a lot", yet also that a person who drinks that 'technically' doesn't become drunk from it and remains 'sober'.

    Or?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top