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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 1st, 2019, 07:28 pm
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Default some pal you are!

Hi,

What does 'some pal you are' mean here?

A: Do you have to dance every dance with him?

B: Oh, don't be such a sorehead. I've only dance five dances with him.

A: Some pal you are. Just because you know I can't dance, you are monopolizing him.

Thanks a lot.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 2nd, 2019, 06:29 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: some pal you are!

There are two things that need to be understood here:
a) the meaning of "some"
b) the meaning of the word order

"Some" here is understood as meaning "excellent/incredible", or in some way "extreme". With ordinary word order the meaning is literal. So after eg a wedding where the food was really good, a guest might say :That was some meal! (subject -verb -complement) with the meaning That was an excellent/incredible meal! or after an exam a student might say That was some exam! meaning That was a very hard exam.

If you change the word order, however, with the complement first, then it becomes ironic and therefore critical, suggesting you are disappointed, annoyed or just surprised that it wasn't as you expected. So if at the wedding the guests had only been given a small sandwich, they might say :
Some meal that was! meaning That was a terrible meal!. And if the student had studied for weeks expecting the exam to be really difficult, and then was only asked three really easy questions, they might say Some exam that was! meaning It was a bad, inadequate exam.

Like all ironic statements, they can used humorously though, as possibly in your example Some pal you are! meaning You're not a good friend. The speaker could be joking or serious - only their intonation and body language would tell you.

The use of "some" isn't essential. The same thing happens with expressions like :
A great help you are! (eg if someone has offered an obvious solution to a problem)
A wonderful summer we're having! (eg if it has rained solidly for weeks)
The word order (C-S-V) in both these sentences signals that the apparently positive evaluation indicated by the adjective should be understood ironically, so that the meaning is actually the opposite: You're no help at all /We're having a terrible summer.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 2nd, 2019, 07:23 pm
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Default Re: some pal you are!

Hi susan,

Thank you very much for your great answer. Can I use 'friend' instead of 'pal' here like 'some friend you are' to express the same meaning?

What's the difference between a pal and a friend?

Thanks.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 7th, 2019, 08:59 am
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Default Re: some pal you are!

Yes you can use friend. "Pal" is a colloquial equivalent, used predominantly in American rather than British English. (Checking on Lextutor I found 1 instance in spoken UK English in a million word corpus as opposed to 28 instances in an American spoken corpus of 868,000 words).
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 8th, 2019, 07:46 am
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Default Re: some pal you are!

Hi susan,

Is 'that was some...' always used in a positive way?

Thanks again.
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Unread Oct 11th, 2019, 09:50 am
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Default Re: some pal you are!

Not necessarily. As I said above, "some" just conveys the idea of something being extreme in some way. For example, imagine you'd been in a meeting where people had got really heated, and were shouting at each other and almost starting to fight. Afterwards you might say to a friend : Wow - that was some meeting!
Or if you'd been out for what you thought was going to be a long but gentle walk, and afterwards found yourself going up and down steep hills all the time, at the end of the day you might say (as you collapsed exhaustedly into an armchair) Wow - that was some walk!
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 13th, 2019, 09:07 am
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Default Re: some pal you are!

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
Not necessarily. As I said above, "some" just conveys the idea of something being extreme in some way. For example, imagine you'd been in a meeting where people had got really heated, and were shouting at each other and almost starting to fight. Afterwards you might say to a friend : Wow - that was some meeting!
Or if you'd been out for what you thought was going to be a long but gentle walk, and afterwards found yourself going up and down steep hills all the time, at the end of the day you might say (as you collapsed exhaustedly into an armchair) Wow - that was some walk!
Hi susan,

Can I say "Wow - some meeting that was!" instead of "Wow - that was some meeting!" to express the same meaning here?

Can I say "Wow - some walk that was!" instead of "Wow - that was some walk!" to express the same meaning here?

Thank you very much for your great answer.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 14th, 2019, 10:49 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: some pal you are!

Yes. The fronting of "some" and the noun just makes it sound a bit more dramatic.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 15th, 2019, 10:24 am
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Default Re: some pal you are!

Hi susan,

"dramatic" has several meanings. What does it mean here?

Many thanks.

Last edited by susan53 : Oct 17th, 2019 at 11:57 am.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 17th, 2019, 12:08 pm
Sue
 
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Default Re: some pal you are!

More emphatic might be a better term.
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