That's playing dirty!

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wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

When the man realised that he'd been tricked by the con artist, he shouted to himself,
1 "That's playing dirty!"
2 "That's a dirty play!"

I made all that up. I would like you to tell me about the structure of "That's playing dirty!" Which is its structure similar to, "he's playing tennis" or "that's common sense"?
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    You could say both 1. and 2. in your context.

    I don't see the parallel with "tennis" or "common sense". What do you mean by that, wanabee?
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    You could say both 1. and 2. in your context.
    I don't see the parallel with "tennis" or "common sense". What do you mean by that, wanabee?
    Thank you very much, perpend, for your quick response, and sorry for my incomplete question.
    What I was asking about was if "that" does the action of "playing dirty", or, if "that" equals "playing dirty". I hope I've made myself a little clearer...
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    "to play dirty" is an idiomatic phrase, wanabee.

    To invert it is fine: a dirty play
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you very much, sound shift and perpend!
    I see. So "playing dirty" in "that's playing dirty" works as a noun phrase. Can't you make it to "that's a playing dirty!" I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work but want some confirmation.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Thank you very much, sound shift and perpend!
    I see. So "playing dirty" in "that's playing dirty" works as a noun phrase. Can't you make it to "that's a playing dirty!" I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work but want some confirmation.
    No. You can't use "that's a playing dirty".
     
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