Mark down = Write down ??!

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Senior Member
Hello members!

I'm wondering if the words mark down equals write down.
Here and the situations which I think can make it clear.

If I'm in a classroom, and the teacher has written some info on the board. it is important, so he says,
a. Write it down in your notebook.
b. Mark it down in your notebook.

Or what if someone is giving me his phone number, he says the numbers, I repeat. And I say,
"I'd better mark it down in case I forget. (I take a piece of paper and pen) 6789994, right? (Then I write it down)"

If I'm in a restaurant. And there's a waitress who has treated us badly. My brother sees her name from her badge, and he says, "Mark down her name. You can complain about her later."

In these situations, can mark down be used instead of write down. Do they mean the same thing?
I think so.

Do you think so?
Many thanks!
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would understand "mark down" but would never use it as a substitute for "write down." It is, for me, distinctly non-native English.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I would use 'mark down' only if I were crossing out names on a list, or putting check-marks somewhere to indicate the location of something. In other words, I would use 'mark down' only if I were using some form of notation that was not a written name or word.

    I would not use 'mark down' for 'writing'.


    English - Australian
    On the other hand, if you heard any of those sentences, they couldn't mean anything else but "Write it down".
    In other contexts, to mark something down could have a different meaning.
    Boss: This can of fruit costs $3.00. Mark it down.
    Worker: OK, how's $2.75?


    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is nothing wrong with, "Mark it down in your notebook."

    Phrasal verbs
    With adverbs in specialized senses. to mark down

    1. trans. To make a (written) note of, to set down in writing.

    1801 Palladium: Port Folio 10 Oct. 325/3, I have taken the liberty of marking down for his use, a few words, either peculiar to our country, or used in a peculiar sense.
    1992 R. J. Waller Bridges of Madison County i. 14 He marked down several locations for future reference, took some shots to jog his memory later on, and headed south.


    Senior Member
    British English / Danish
    I would understand "mark down" but would never use it as a substitute for "write down." It is, for me, distinctly non-native English.
    It may be in the dictionary,as pointed out by PaulQ, but I agree with Copyright.

    I also agree with Raymot about the 'reducing a price' definition, although one would, of course, understand the intended meaning in the sentences in OP.

    Sorry if this is slightly off-topic, but I can't help just mentioning the common, idiomatic alternative to 'write down', i.e. 'make a note of'.
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