to take a trick

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Clementine Kruczynski, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Clementine Kruczynski Member

    Hi! I'd like to know if anyone knows what 'to take a trick' is.

    I've found it in an Australian short-story by Peter Cowan, entitled 'The Tractor'.
    The passage goes like this: (it is a dialogue)

    'Here we go again.' He banged his hand against the steering wheel.'We never take a trick. Why don't you go and live with this character.'

    I've tried several places, but I haven't found any suitable answer...

    Hope someone can help me with this! I'll truly appreciate it!
  2. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    This phrase is foreign to me but the closest I can come to is the phrase "You never miss a trick" meaning that the person you're speaking to always has some reason/excuse to justify their actions. Does that fit into the context of the story?
  3. Kevman Senior Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    USA English
    Hi Clementine, and welcome to the forums. :)

    It sounds to me like a reference to a card game like Bridge or Hearts where everyone lays down a card and then the person with the highest card wins them all. The round of play is called a trick, and the person who wins it takes the trick.
  4. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    Kevman is right. It is a card based saying that has moved into the general lexicon.
    To say 'I can't take a trick' means 'I can't win'.

  5. Clementine Kruczynski Member

    Thank you both very much for your answers!
    I guess it refers, as you said, to the game. It is a couple going through a crisis... they keep on quarrelling time and time again, so it may refer to that idea...

    I really appreciate it!

    Until next time!

  6. Clementine Kruczynski Member


    Thank you very much, Dimcl. I think the phrase is connected to what Kevman and .,, said.

    Ok! So know I've learnt TWO phrases including the word 'trick'.

    Thanks a lot!
  7. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    Just to add a little to the meaning.
    A trick is only a small part of the game.
    It is necessary to take many tricks to win the game so to say that I can't take a trick means that I can't win even a small portion of the game or to lose the game so completely that the score is 11-0.
    To not be able to take a trick is to be a total loser.


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