Don't play with mud

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Senior Member
Hi, I am learning daily English conversation and I would like to know what a mother says to her children if she forbit them not to play with soil, mud etc. Can I say: "Hey! Don't play with mud, it's dirty." Thank you
  • Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Mud is made of water and dirt, so saying it's dirty would be a bit redundant for a native speaker (and humorous to most people that heard you).
    My mom always said 'Don't play in the mud' or 'Stay out of the mud. You'll get it all over yourself.'


    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi. What you've written is fine, but there are no real 'set phrases' that you can use here. I'd suggest that the "it's dirty" part sounds a little strange, because mud is often called dirt, so to describe dirt as 'dirty' is a bit odd. Instead, try "Don't play with mud; you'll get dirty!"


    Senior Member
    US, English
    Please note that RCA and I are not from the same countries. I'm an American English speaker, and RCA is a British English speaker. In AE, we say 'don't play with things' (your sister's toys, dangerous objects, sharp knives, scissors, etc.). 'Don't play with mud' sounds a bit odd, to me, and I don't think most AE speakers would say it. It may be perfectly normal and sound perfectly natural to a BE speaker, though.

    On the other hand 'You'll get dirty' is a common phrase on both sides of the Atlantic.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think there's a BrE/AmE difference here, Cypher, just a slight difference of approach:

    Don't play with mud = don't treat mud as a toy, don't play with it as if it was modelling clay
    Don't play in the mud = the ground is muddy there - don't play there!

    I think the second is probably more likely in BrE too, given that what concerns mothers most is mud all over kids' clothes, not how creative they're being with it...;).
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