Drag on and Draw out

GandalfMB

Senior Member
Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
Hello everybody,
they both mean "last longer than expected". Is there any difference between them in this sentence: "The scandal will make the negotiations draw out/drag on for years". They both sound good to me, but you are the experts :).

Thank you
 
  • Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    In your context 'drag on' is the better phrase to use, in my view. We talk of 'long drawn out negotiations', but I don't think I've ever seen 'draw out' in the verbal form.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Thank you,
    I came across this sentence on Macmillandictionary.com. When would you use "draw out", instead of "drag on", or you prefer "drag on"?

    Thank you for your help
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    Thank you,
    I came across this sentence on Macmillandictionary.com. When would you use "draw out", instead of "drag on", or you prefer "drag on"?

    Thank you for your help
    As a BE speaker I would probably only say 'draw out' in a person-to-person context such as: "She is normally very reticent, but yesterday I managed to draw her out and learnt a lot about her family background". I might possibly say of events: "It will be necessary to draw out the dinner to allow us some time to digest between all those courses".
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Drawing out is what a person does to make something take a long time. (That phrase also has other meanings, such as getting someone to talk.)

    Dragging on is what that thing does when it takes a long time.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    The sentence I can come up with now is probably a bad one. They are drawing out the negotiations for their own good.

    Thank you, Egmont. I know that my sentence is a bad one. I think I understand now :).
     
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