Unfasten/undo (a zip, fly, button, shoelaces)

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A-friend

Senior Member
Persian (Farsi)
Hello everyone
In English people often use the verbs "do up" and "fasten"for a zipper. I need to know which verbs are used to say something opposite?

For instance, you say:

  • (Do up / fasten) your shoelaces.
  • (Do up / fasten) your shirt's button.
  • Do up (not fasten here) your (zipper / fly).
But, would it also sound natural to say:

- (Undo / unfasten) your shoelaces.
- (Undo / unfasten) your (zipper / fly).
- (Undo / unfasten) your (button).

Are the bold statements above natural?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Do up" and "undo" can be used in almost any situation. Shoelaces can by tied (up)/untied, zips can be zipped (up)/unzipped and buttons can be fastened/unfastened, but "fasten" is relatively unusual in modern English to refer to shoelaces, and I don't recall it being used for zips.

    "Zip" is not synonymous with fly. Flies can have buttons instead of a zip (and these would be fastened).
     

    A-friend

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    So as I understood, you probabely would say:

    - (Do up / tie up) / (undo / untie) your shoelace. (imparatively)
    - (Do up / undo) / (fasten / unfasten) your button. (imparatively)
    - (Do up / undo) (fasten / unfasten) your fly.
    Am I right?
     
    Last edited:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    So as I understood, you probabely would say:

    - (Do up / tie up) / (undo / untie) your shoelace. (imparatively)
    - (Do up / undo) / (fasten / unfasten) your button. (imparatively)
    - (Do up / undo) (fasten / unfasten) your fly.
    Am I right?
    Now that you have written them out like that, "tie" would be used on its own, without "up", but the rest are correct. if the person has a button fly. For a zip, the alternative is zip up/unzip.
     
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