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He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest



 
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He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest #1 (permalink) Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:59 am   He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest
 

English Idioms and Expressions, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #3 "A piece of cake", question 3

When he heard that the necklace had been stolen, he dropped it like a hot potato.

(a) he let it fall from his hands
(b) he suddenly lost interest in it
(c) he gave it to somebody else
(d) he hid it in the fridge

English Idioms and Expressions, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #3 "A piece of cake", answer 3

When he heard that the necklace had been stolen, he suddenly lost interest in it.

Correct answer: (b) he suddenly lost interest in it

Your answer was: incorrect
When he heard that the necklace had been stolen, he let it fall from his hands.
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Hi,

I just have a question here. According to the dictionary, the term "hot potato" prefers to some problem which is difficult to deal with, so why here we have "lost his interest"?

Thank you
Garmasch
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Hot potato #2 (permalink) Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:39 am   Hot potato
 

Hi,

Yes, you're right, a hot potato is a problem or difficult situation but the expression:
Quote:
he dropped it like a hot potato.
indicates that he suddenly lost interest in it and wanted to have no more to do with it simply because the necklace was a stolen item.

Alan
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He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest #3 (permalink) Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 am   He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest
 

What I understood from the sentence is that he had stolen the necklace, when he heard that people knew about it, he dropped it to the ground in order not to get caught red-handed with it.
Khetu
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He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest #4 (permalink) Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:06 am   He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest
 

No, he had merely purchased stolen property unknowingly. I agree, however, that in the context given, the idiom could well mean that he 'dropped it suddenly as if burnt by it'.
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He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest #5 (permalink) Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:33 am   He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest
 

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Hi Khetu,

The whole point of this test is to show idioms in use and it isn't really possible to interpret an idiom literally as you have suggested in your comment. Take another idiom for example: It's like falling off a log, which means doing something very easy. What it doesn't mean is that you are standing on a log and when you come to the end, you fall off it.

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He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest #6 (permalink) Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:44 am   He lost interest in it vs. he lost his interest
 

I'm afraid that this is one of those fringe cases, Alan. The question needs re-writing. Here are some reputable examples:

She was not amused with the funny-tasting bean and dropped it like a hot potato. And then glared at it.

"Some enterprising beggar tried to make off with this valise," he said. "I had come down from Jack's room, and was sitting in the library, when I saw him sneak up on the porch, and try to get away with it. He dropped it like a hot potato when I sang out to him."

"He took up the book; but seeing the owner suddenly appear, he dropped it like a hot potato."


By the way, do you know that our tests are being plagiarized? Have a look here: http://tieng-anh.com/intermediate-idioms/0003.php
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