(Too) close: when there is too much freedom

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Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,


1. Considering the Macmillan Definition of "close": : directly involved with someone and communicating with them a lot.

2. Additional Context: when you become friends with someone, you usually get closer and closer as time passes and you have more and more freedom to do or say things.

3. My question: Are the uses of "close" idiomatic/common English? If not, what do you suggest? Please take a look at the contexts.

a. We became friends and after a while we were make jokes about each other that were very offensive. It ruined our friendship. We got too close to each other.
b. Mike, I think you're getting too close to them. You're telling them things about your personal life and all. When you're excessively close, things might not work and cause problems.

c. You're too close to her. She knows everything about your private life. She makes fun of you and doesn't respect you.


Thank you in advance!
 
  • Sedulia

    Senior Member
    **Literate** American English
    a. We became friends and after a while we were make jokes about each other that were very offensive. It ruined our friendship. We got too close to each other.
    b. Mike, I think you're getting too close to them. You're telling them things about your personal life and all. When you're excessively close, things might not work and cause problems.

    c. You're too close to her. She knows everything about your private life. She makes fun of you and doesn't respect you.
    I think a good synonym for this use of "close" is "intimate" -- it means you know a great deal about someone and it usually means that you feel warmly about them-- but not always.

    In the (a) sentence, by the way, it should be "we were making jokes" to be correct. In sentence (b), "things might not work" is all right and "this might cause problems" would be all right; but it sounds wrong to say "things might not work and cause problems" because the "and" could imply "might not cause."
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    You have to be careful with intimate (even though it's otherwise a great word here) because it is sometimes used as a euphemism for "having a sexual relationship with." I'm not sure I can define "be careful," either. It has to be clear from the context that you mean the literal meaning of intimate, not the euphemism. In all three of your examples, you explain in your second sentences what you mean by intimate, so all three are probably fine, but I wanted you to be aware of this little problem.
     
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