jobs for the boys

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by bulsara, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. bulsara Member

    Spanish and Galician
    Hi to everyone:
    I'd like to know whether the expression "jobs for the boys" takes a singular or a plural verb, as in "Jobs for the boys is/are totally unfair." I'm also wondering whether I can say that "This/that is a case/instance of jobs for the boys."
    Thank you in advance!
  2. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    " 'Jobs for the boys' is totally unfair."
    I would say that when referring to the old boys' network of the UK where jobs are given to a closed, selected group of people, it would take the singular because it is a set expression, suggesting favouritism e.g. They both went to Eton, so it was jobs for the boys, of course.
    But the phrase was also used in a different, positive sense after the second/first world war to refer literally to jobs for deserving soldiers returning from the war.
    If used to mean that, then I would use a plural verb e.g. Jobs for the boys were created at the end of the war.

    "This/that is a case/instance of jobs for the boys."
    All versions are fine for me ( N.B. of course put an before instance if chosen).

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