Your laces are undone/untied

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belissimo

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everybody,
What is better to say in this situation: a person suddenly notices that the shoelaces are not tied ( but he tied them before, maybe not so tight).

The shoelaces are untied or the shoelaces are undone.
Thanks
 
  • b1947420

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello everybody,
    What is better to say in this situation: a person suddenly notices that the shoelaces are not tied ( but he tied them before, maybe not so tight).

    The shoelaces are untied or the shoelaces are undone.
    Thanks
    Both are acceptable but I tend to use "undone" not because it is any more correct than "untied" rather a matter of personal style.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    "The shoelaces have come undone" or "The shoelaces have come untied" -- because either lets you know that they were once tied. With "The shoelaces are untied," they might never have been tied, as is often the fashion these days.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    "The shoelaces have come undone" or "The shoelaces have come untied" -- because either lets you know that they were once tied. With "The shoelaces are untied," they might never have been tied
    I feel Coppy's answer is better. And "The shoelaces are untied" might mean"The shoelaces are untied (by somebody)". Am I right?
     
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    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I can't imagine the word "laces" or "lace" appearing in this expression.
    I would say "Your shoe's untied."
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    'Your shoe laces are undone' is what I'd say.

    I get the feeling that 'untied' is a bit of an American English phrasing, I wouldn't ever say 'untied' unless in direct opposition to something being 'tied'.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    On the question of undone vs untied, I'd opt for the former.
    On the question of lace vs laces, I'd opt for the latter even if only one shoe is affected. Despite Copyright's impeccable logic in #5, I favour sound shift's approach in #9. There are in principle two ends of string which we tie together, each of which is notionally attached independently to one side of the shoe. The fact that the two ends happen to be joined together behind the scenes, as it were, is immaterial. As far as I'm concerned, each shoe has two laces, even if it's really only one lace. In practice, I'd probably eschew the laces and say "your shoe's undone", or if both are affected, "your shoes are undone".

    Simple minds, simple pleasures. I remember from my childhood that telling somebody their shoes (or flies, for that matter) were undone when in fact they were not, was a favourite April Fool's prank.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    On the question of undone vs untied, I'd opt for the former.
    On the question of lace vs laces, I'd opt for the latter even if only one shoe is affected. Despite Copyright's impeccable logic in #5, I favour sound shift's approach in #9. There are in principle two ends of string which we tie together, each of which is notionally attached independently to one side of the shoe. The fact that the two ends happen to be joined together behind the scenes, as it were, is immaterial. As far as I'm concerned, each shoe has two laces, even if it's really only one lace. In practice, I'd probably eschew the laces and say "your shoe's undone", or if both are affected, "your shoes are undone".

    Simple minds, simple pleasures. I remember from my childhood that telling somebody their shoes (or flies, for that matter) were undone when in fact they were not, was a favourite April Fool's prank.
    I agree with all of this, including the last line, though I would say "untied" (and I'd call it an April Fool's joke).
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Interesting and, to me, curious. I have never thought that one shoe had two laces, hence what I say when I see a shoelace undone - post #11. I checked, and my wife spontaneously said the same (a carefully-worded prompt which did not include any form of the words lace, tie, untie and undone).
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I can't fault Copy's logic here, but in practice I say "Your (shoe)laces are undone" when I'm referring to only one shoe.
    Leaping right over logic and going straight to style, Your shoelace is undone rolls much smoother off the tongue than Your shoelaces are undone. ;)
     

    Elsie!

    Member
    Chinese
    <Added to this thread. Nat>

    If my shoelaces are loose, does the sentence”my shoelaces come untied” work? Is there any other expression? Thank you!
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Welcome to the Forum, Elsie! :)

    I have added your thread to an older thread. Please scroll up to see the responses of different members. Some speakers might say untied. In my variety of English, I would say what YLR has said: Your laces have (be)come undone/loose.
     
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