Hold your breath

Cub Pilot

Senior Member
the following sentences are quoted from another thread
Hold your breath! Here is the breaking news! We are leaving for China tomorrow.

I know (from that thread) that Hold your breath! isn't idiomatic in this context. I would like to know what wording would work instead.

Many thanks in advance:)
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  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    There are many different things one might say in that situation, and we can’t we rewrite the sentence for you. Please make a new attempt at what you are trying to convey.

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    It's that easy! Put yourself in the place of getting the news you will fly to China tomorrow! What would that do to you, how would that affect you, and what effect would that have on your breathing? I'm looking for that wording being both common and idiomatic.
    Thanks again!:)
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    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    If you're talking to someone on the phone, you might say "Are you sitting down? I have some great news! We're leaving for China tomorrow?"
    If you're talking to them in person, you might say, "I have some great news -- you'd better sit down! We're leaving for China tomorrow!"

    The point is that you think the person will faint or at least lose their balance from excitement.

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    That sounds good to me. Thank you very much indeed.:)
    Isn't there any common wording regarding the fact that you aren't able to take a breath due to the surprising information?
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    Senior Member
    British English
    You might possibly say "Take a deep breath; we're leaving for China in the morning".
    I've never heard anyone use "Hold your breath" in the context you propose.
    However, there is an idiomatic phrase "Don't hold your breath". It's used when you are telling someone that something is going to happen, but probably not for some time, as in "We shall be flying to China, but don't hold your breath - it won't be for several weeks."