fiddle with\ play with

Dmitry87

Senior Member
Russian - The Russian Federation
Hi, friends!
Here's the situation:

Let's say an English learner wrote a sentence. Then he writes 5 more sentences based on the first one. By doing that he tries to describe what he wrote in different ways to work out some grammar structures, maybe idioms or synonyms etc/

Can I say in this context that he fiddles with the first sentence or plays with it?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Play" is a good verb to use, but it might not be immediately obvious what you mean, so you may need to add something more to describe what he is doing:
    He wrote a sentence, then played (around) with it and wrote five more sentences to work out the grammatical structure.​

    I thought "play with it" might be fine without "around", but when I came to write out the sentence, it seemed to work better with "around".
     

    Dmitry87

    Senior Member
    Russian - The Russian Federation
    "Play" is a good verb to use, but it might not be immediately obvious what you mean, so you may need to add something more to describe what he is doing:
    He wrote a sentence, then played (around) with it and wrote five more sentences to work out the grammatical structure.​

    I thought "play with it" might be fine without "around", but when I came to write out the sentence, it seemed to work better with "around".
    Thank you, Uncle Jack! A new phrasal verb for me today - to play around with )
    And what about to fiddle with? Is it unacceptable here?
    I heard it is connected with experimenting and improving in a way, isn't it?
     
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