getting into unneccesary fights

Is it idiomatic to say
He has a habit of getting into unneccesary fights.
Does it mean that the person fights a lot and that he takes up a lot of fight .
So does it mean to fight
Get into a fight .
If not can I say that he takes up unneccesary fights?
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Check your spelling of unnecessary ;) Make sure the double letters are all in the right places.

    Does it mean that the person fights a lot and that he takes up a lot of fight. I don't understand this part - it is not idiomatic English - could you explain it?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    What do you mean by fight? A physical fight? A dispute? An argument?

    He has a habit of getting into unnecessary fights.

    This is grammatically correct but not particularly idiomatic.

    'Take up a fight'. A solicitor might take up a fight (agree to fight a case for you), for example. An organisation might take up a fight: Grenpeace for example has taken up a lot of fights. Are you intending to use it in this kind of context?
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Check your spelling of unnecessary ;) Make sure the double letters are all in the right places.

    Does it mean that the person fights a lot and that he takes up a lot of fight. I don't understand this part - it is not idiomatic English - could you explain it?

    A mnemonic (memory help): "Unnecessary: one collar, two socks".

    If someone "get into" a lot of fights, it could be interpreted as meaning that he intervenes in fights that had already begun. Is this the case, or did you mean, Abcd123kkk, that he starts fights unnecessarily? (In this case, we could also say that he "picks unnecessary fights" or "starts fights unnecessarily" (I'd choose the latter) .)
     
    Last edited:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Your sentence is a good one if it means that the man is frequently involved in fights for no good reason.
    'Takes up fights' sounds like some synonym you saw in a dictionary. As Barque says it is not right here.
    It means to fight for a social or political cause, which might not involve physical fighting at all. Such causes might be equal pay for women, the environment, climate change and so-on.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Abcd123kkk, please tell us more about what this person does. Does he fight physically, or does he use words, or does he do something else?

    Is he joining a fight that has already started, or is he the one who begins the fight? And so on.

    Everyone else, please wait for the requested context before commenting.

    Cagey, moderator
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, I understand 'Get into a fight' to mean that a person starts a fight, or participates in arguments that will end in a physical fight.
    For your meaning, you could say "He gets into unnecessary fights."
    You could also use the adverb 'unnecessarily' as you do in your explanation "He gets into fights unnecessarily."

    If you want to make it clear that he is the one who starts the trouble, you could say that he 'picks fights.'
    You might say "He picks unnecessary fights" but generally fights you 'pick' are not necessary so "He picks fights" is enough.

    Thank you for providing more information. :)
    It is very helpful.
     
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