in George to stay angry

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Senior Member
美之大成, 汉语
Early the next morning the phone rang. It was George. “Look on your front step.” I hurried to the front door, opened it and there, in all its glory, was a bright red sombrero with a small sign pinned to it saying, “Sorry.” In those days it wasn’t in George to stay angry.


Is there a saying as bold part upward, 'be in sb to stay', or it is a figurative saying?

thanks a lot.

  • Aidanriley

    Senior Member
    To be in sb to do sth means to be capable of doing that thing, whether it means physically capable or something more to do with the personality/nature of someone.

    e.g. John Smith is a horrible person, it's not in him to be nice to someone.

    In your example, I take it to mean George, being the kind spirited guy he was in those days, couldn't stay mad for very long.


    Senior Member
    UK English
    The section wasn't in George to stay angry means that it was impossible for George to be angry. The phrase is quite common to signify someone having a certain characteristic.

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "In somebody to stay" is not a fixed expression.
    "It wasn't in George to stay angry" means "George was not capable of remaining angry for long"; "It was not in George's nature to stay angry for long." The fact that George said "Sorry" indicates a forgiving nature.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Perhaps the most common variant of this phrase that I know is the exclamation "I didn't know he had it in him!". For instance, if someone shows an unexpected and admirable side to their character - particularly if it required sustained effort to achieve - you might use this exclamation.

    "I always thought of Bob as a lazy good-for-nothing, but this year he's worked really hard. I never knew he had it in him!"
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