take something off (license) plate

crimecrime

Senior Member
Russian - Russia
Hello everyone.

I'm translating a video where drivers cover the license plates of their illegally parked cars with pieces of paper so that specialized vehicles equipped with cameras that cruise around the city can't take a picture of the licensed plate, which is used as evidence for giving a ticket.

In the video, one guy removes such piece of paper from a car, and after that the owner of the car comes running and starts screaming at him. One of the phrases he frequently uses while screaming is, "You took it off my plate!" So I wanted to ask, does this phrase sound correct in this context? Or maybe my viewers will think that the guy took some food from the driver's plate :)?
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    No one's going to think that something was taken off the driver's plate, but "You took it off my plate!" – even though we can see what's happening – can leave us wondering what "it" is (the piece of paper). This is especially true for viewers who are not familiar with the practice.

    I might use "You uncovered my plate!"
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I think it might be more common in AmE to say just 'plate' for license plate, but in BrE I think we'd always say 'number plate' (= 'numberplate') in full. (It does rather sound to me as if someone's stealing food.)
     
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