"Our first anniversary, back in New York, I went 2 for 7."

Discussion in 'English Only' started by thom1197, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. thom1197 New Member

    English - England
    In the book I'm reading, a woman has set up a treasure hunt for her husband every year on their wedding anniversary, and the answer to one question leads the husband to the next question. When the husband is describing the first year's treasure hunt, he says:

    "Our first anniversary, back in New York, I went two for seven. That was my best year [the year in which he got the most answers right]."

    I know that "Our first anniversary" should be preceded by something like "During", but I have another question. I'm guessing that 'I went two for seven' means that in that year, he guessed two answers out of the total seven, but could someone please explain how this phrase is grammatically correct? I know it's a stupid thing to get hung up over, but I am really struggling to see how the sentence makes sense.
     
  2. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    It is a common way of expressing success rates - particularly in sports (in the US). Two successful attempts out of a total of seven attempts. In baseball, for example, if you have four plate appearances (at bats, opportunities to hit) and you succeed in two of them but are "out" in the other two, you are said to be "two for four".
     
  3. thom1197 New Member

    English - England
    Thanks for the quick reply! I couldn't find this definition in any dictionaries, so I guess it's slang in America.
     
  4. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    It's standard in sports circles. And as you saw, it's used outside them (like home run, cover all the bases etc). I'll leave the issue of whether that constitutes slang to others:D
     
  5. thom1197 New Member

    English - England
    Oh, sorry. I meant that it's a local term to America, so it probably wouldn't be in many British dictionaries :)
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Ahh. I looked at the definition of "for" in the WRF dictinaries (from the search box at the top of each page) and neither of the US (Random House) nor UK (Collins) entries included this specific use of "for". Having lived in the US I have become familiar with it - I had not heard it before moving here from the UK.
     
  7. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    It's 8 b at Merriam-Webster.
     

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