breeze through life

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panzerfaust0

Senior Member
mandarin
I read this phrasal verb somewhere meaning when ones goes through life in a casual, carefree manner. |What I don't understand is, is this meant in a good way or a bad way? When I say someone breezes through life, am I meaning that he/she doesn't take life seriously? Please teach me how to use this phrasal verb properly, thanks.
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I don''t think that it is principally one's life that one is said to breeze through; it's more usually some task or usually-difficult procedure; some exams perhaps. E.g.:
    "She breezed through her driving test."

    Have a look at this definition:
    informal come or go in a casual or cheerful manner. ■ (breeze through) deal with or accomplish with ease

    Having said that, I'm sure I have heard of someone breezing through life. As life can be difficult, it may have the same sense (she finds her life, or existence, easy), but I agree that it might tend to suggest that the person does not take things (including relationships) seriously or is oblivious to the difficulties or challenges in life.
     

    panzerfaust0

    Senior Member
    mandarin
    Having said that, I'm sure I have heard of someone breezing through life. As life can be difficult, it may have the same sense (she finds her life, or existence, easy), but I agree that it might tend to suggest that the person does not take things (including relationships) seriously or is oblivious to the difficulties or challenges in life.
    If that's the case, it's a bad thing to say to someone then?
     

    ekbatana

    Senior Member
    German Austria
    I agree with MatchingMale and SDGraham that "to breeze through life" is neutral on its face because some people just get lucky.

    "To skate through life" has a similar meaning like to breeze through, meaning to take the easy way to get by in whatever you do. I think it has a slightly more negative connotation than to breeze through, sometimes implying that you choose the path of least resistance or cut corners.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I think "bad" is a little strong, but there could certainly be a hint of disapproval; since, in most people's experience, life is not easy, it might be considered irresponsible to breeze through life. This is not necessarily the case though; the phrase is not negative in itself, and it might be said with admiration.
     

    ekbatana

    Senior Member
    German Austria
    The Concise Oxford English Dic. (2008) defines "to breeze through" as
    "to deal with or accomplish with ease",

    the Macmillan Dictionary (2007) defines it as
    "to do something easily or confidently = sail through".

    Neither has any reference to disapproval (usually they mention if a word or phrasal verb expresses disapproval) or labels it as informal, so you can use it without being offensive.
     
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