undo / untangle

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Senior Member
Persian - پارسی
A. Please undo the knots in the ribbons.

B. Please untangle the knots in the ribbons.

Do they mean different things to you?

I think B would be more natural if it was worded this way:

C. Please untangle the ribbons.

Any idea!
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Untangling ribbons and untying knots are not the same thing. Threads etc. can be badly tangled up without there being any actual knots in them.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Real knots are undone or untied. However "knot" is often used for what is actually a tangle (such as finding a "knot" when combing your hair), in which case you can use "untangle".

    Without knowing exactly what the ribbons were like, I would say that A and C were fine, but B might be odd.
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