the four

Masha*

Senior Member
Russia: Russian
Hi!
Could you please explain what "four" is here (a gentleman comes in a London club):

"Bonham... come and take a hand." A voice from a whist table hailed him. "Alistair has deserted the four."

Thank you in advance
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    Hi!
    Could you please explain what "four" is here (a gentleman comes in a London club):

    "Bonham... come and take a hand." A voice from a whist table hailed him. "Alistair has deserted the four."

    Thank you in advance

    You need four people to play whist, so if one person leaves the others can't play until they find someone to take his place.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    What's also interesting is that the four will only be three after he has deserted it. But we would say four in these circumstances because it's the number you need to play - it means the people set to play. One hears things like we need one more to make up the four - i.e. they've found three who want to play, and are looking for the fourth.
     
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