TURN BACK and FOLD DOWN

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Marketo

Member
Mexican-Spanish
One of the meanings of the phrasal verb TURN BACK is
" to fold a part of something so that it covers another part" according to http://www.carolinebrownenglishlessons.com/turnphrasals1/menu.php
the same meaning is also defined as "To fold down" according to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/turn+back

Examples of this phrasal when takes this meaning are the following according with these references:


  • She marked her place in the book by turning back the page.
  • When we arrived in the room, the maid had turned back the bedcovers.
  • Turn back the page's corner to save your place in the book

I want you to explain me the meanings of fold apart and fold down to understand turn back in the aforementioned sentences

Thanks for your help and attentions
 
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  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I'm not sure if this is a regional difference, but "turn back" is not common in this meaning in Australian English. To us, "turn back" usually means to refuse someone entry to somewhere, and send them back in the direction they came from (e.g. "we tried to enter the restricted zone, but were turned back by security").

    Consequently, all your example sentences sound odd to me. I would sooner say "she marked her place [...] by folding the corner of the page". I'm not sure what you mean by the second sentence regarding the bedcovers.

    "Fold apart" isn't a very common phrase either, as far as I can think. I would probably use it when something can be folder in two, opposite directions.

    This may sound silly, but "fold down" would generally simply mean to fold something in a downward direction. Again, not a common phrase.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't think I trust this Caroline Brown person. Her "turn back" is my "turn down".

    Many hotels offer "turn down service" where they fold down the covers and leave a chocolate on the pillow. Google it.

    "... turn back the page" means to turn to the page before in which case you have lost your place rather than marked it. "turn back the corner" make no sense to me.
     

    Marketo

    Member
    Mexican-Spanish
    I think that what Myridon and cropje_jnr posted is Ok, but what do you think about the definition that is in the free dictionary ? this is in accordance with Caroline brown, see http://www.thefreedictionary.com/turn+back (this defines turn back as fold down), isn't this dictionary trustable? Tell me because I use it a lot of. It comes to my mind that all of this depend of the place where is the person who is writing but of course there is standar English
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Whenever I check into a better quality hotel, like the Swissotel, they advise me that the maid will "turn back" the bed. The meaning of this is that the bed cover is folded so that the pillows are exposed. (This is supposed to represent luxury???)

    I think this is an application of that usage of turn back.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Whenever I check into a better quality hotel, like the Swissotel, they advise me that the maid will "turn back" the bed. The meaning of this is that the bed cover is folded so that the pillows are exposed. (This is supposed to represent luxury???)

    I think this is an application of that usage of turn back.
    That is "turn down" here.
    I'd also describe that thing people do with pages of books as "fold down", not "turn back".

    I would, however, turn back the cuffs of a long-sleeved shirt to make the sleeves shorter. In that context, back makes sense (to me) because I am looking at the sleeve and turning the cuff back towards me.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    That is "turn down" here.
    I'd also describe that thing people do with pages of books as "fold down", not "turn back".

    I would, however, turn back the cuffs of a long-sleeved shirt to make the sleeves shorter. In that context, back makes sense (to me) because I am looking at the sleeve and turning the cuff back towards me.
    I believe you are correct on the "turn down" in place of the "turn back", though I have hear it called just "turn" which sounds like they are going to re-orient the bed in its entirety.
     
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