Your shirt's button is undone.

tufguy

Senior Member
hindi
Is it correct to say "Your shirt's button is undone. Do it up"? I don't know what to use here as context. It is a simple sentence.
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I see no problem and I understand it very well.

    (Still, you might hear me say 'My shirt has at least 10 buttons. Which one are you talking about?' :D )
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    There is a tiny problem with "your shirt's button": it implies that there's only one button.
    :thumbsup: :) Hence the joke I might make.

    Also, because shirt's buttons and shirts' buttons sound the same, I just might say 'Yeah, in fact all the buttons of all my shirts at home are undone.'

    But I still think the message is clear enough in the specific context. :)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    Is it correct to say "Your shirt's button is undone. Do it up"? I don't know what to use here as context. It is a simple sentence.

    This is clear. You do not have to tell him which button is undone. The person can check that for himself.

    One note:

    "Your shirt's button is undone." is a statement (a declarative sentence).

    "Do it up!" is a command (an imperative sentence).

    In AE, people might make the statement, without giving the command. Of course it depends on the situation, and who is speaking.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    "By the way, (do you know) your shirt's undone?" If you are talking to a blind person you might want to mention which button it is.
    You say no 'context', but of course there is! Who are you talking to? A child?
    (Far too many undone shirts these days, showing scraggy grey necks and horrid hairy chests.)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I would never say "Your shirt's button is undone".

    I was wondering when somebody would say that. It's interesting to see that not everyone objects to this possessive.

    For me,

    Your shirt's buttons :thumbsdown: or even :cross:
    Your shirt buttons :tick:
    The buttons on your shirt :tick:

    The singular is even worse because (as others have already said) it implies that the shirt has only one button.
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I would simply say:"Your shirt button is undone". So would most people I know. That would naturally imply that one of the buttons on your shirt was not done up.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would never issue the order. I would only mention the deficiency, unless it was a child or someone who might not understand the issue.
    • Your shoe lace is untied. (You can choose to tie it if you wish.)
    • Your blouse's top three buttons are open. (You can show that much decolletage if you wish--I won't object.)
    • Cleavage_ccdpee.jpg

    • Your shirt is buttoned wrong. (The left and right side are misaligned.)
    c60ca0816640144d3dc8fb61b5b253ca--superstition-button-up.jpg
     

    tufguy

    Senior Member
    hindi
    I would never issue the order. I would only mention the deficiency, unless it was a child or someone who might not understand the issue.
    • Your shoe lace is untied. (You can choose to tie it if you wish.)
    • Your blouse's top three buttons are open. (You can show that much decolletage if you wish--I won't object.)
    • Cleavage_ccdpee.jpg

    • Your shirt is buttoned wrong. (The left and right side are misaligned.)
    c60ca0816640144d3dc8fb61b5b253ca--superstition-button-up.jpg


    Is it correct to say "The buttons on your shirt are open or close"?
     

    RR1902

    Senior Member
    India-Hindi
    I would never issue the order. I would only mention the deficiency, unless it was a child or someone who might not understand the issue.
    • Your shoe lace is untied. (You can choose to tie it if you wish.)
    • Your blouse's top three buttons are open. (You can show that much decolletage if you wish--I won't object.)
    Your blouse's top three button are unbuttoned ?
    • Cleavage_ccdpee.jpg

    • Your shirt is buttoned wrong. (The left and right side are misaligned.)
    c60ca0816640144d3dc8fb61b5b253ca--superstition-button-up.jpg
    Here, how would you give a command to kid that your shirt is buttoned wrong button up properly?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I'm surprised no one said it clearly in the original post, but what I would normally expect to hear is:

    - One of your buttons is undone.

    There is really no need to mention the shirt in most cases.

    I would never use that kind of possessive with a shirt. No one says, "your jacket's zipper" is undone. It's just, "your zipper".
     
    Last edited:

    RR1902

    Senior Member
    India-Hindi
    I'm surprised no one said it clearly in the original post, but what I would normally expect to hear is:

    - One of your buttons is undone.

    There is really no need to mention the shirt in most cases.

    I would never use that kind of possessive with a shirt. No one says, your jacket's zipper is undone. It's just, "your zipper".
    How can we say your shirt is wrong buttoned and button it properly?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    And are were talking about the 1860s or today?

    I have literally never heard anyone say "your shirt's button" ever.

    If it was necessary, a gesture would be included to indicate where the problem is.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Before trouser zips were common "one of your buttons is undone" would have meant a fly button.
    Or a shoe button or... Shall we discuss what it might mean before buttons were invented? We don't need to teach people how to speak the colloquial English of a time before the invention of the zipper. Levi's still makes button fly jeans, but we just say "Your fly's undone." and both cases are covered. I doubt someone wearing button-fly jeans would think I meant a fly button if I said "your button."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Shall we discuss what it might mean before buttons were invented?
    Thank you for that completely pointless contribution.

    My points are:
    1. "Your button is undone" does not, to me, mean "Your shirt button is undone". If that is how an AE speaker finds it, that's all well and good, but I don't much care as I am responding to this thread as a BE speaker.
    2. My childhood short trousers and first few pairs of long trousers, which were bought well after the 19th century invention of the zip, had button flies, and "Your button's undone" was about as common as "Your flies are undone". Many people choose to wear button fly trousers these days and "You've a button undone" seems more likely to cause a downward glance and fumble than a glance in the mirror to check a shirt button. Again, I have no idea of how an AE speaker would react.
    Can't we say "Your shirt button is opened."?
    You could say that, but I certainly would not. I don't open and close buttons and I would be very surprised to hear any other English speaker saying it.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    This thread is getting silly, but I must remind members that women wear shirts too, and their anatomy often makes it difficult to see all the buttons.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    How can we say your shirt is wrong buttoned and button it properly?
    You could just tell them to “Do your buttons up properly!”.

    From earlier threads:
    You've done up your buttons wrongly.
    I believe your thinking about the sentence makes sense. I have never heard the term "misbutton," but if someone said that to me, I would look to see if my shirt buttons matched the button holes that they should be in.

    Alternative things I've heard said:
    Your shirt isn't buttoned right.
    Your shirt is buttoned wrong.
    Your buttons are crooked.
    You've buttoned your shirt crooked.
    "Joshua, your shirt's buttoned wrong(ly)."
     
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