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Hi!

I could understand the two expressions, and follow the rest of the stories but when it comes to me trying to use them, I'm a basket case. Could you please help me with some examples that might let me grasp how they are used? Thanks.

1) Figures!

2) Go figure!

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
Comments  
Hi,

1) Figures! It's short for 'that figures', meaning either 'that is likely' or 'that is easy to understand'. eg

A: Tom got a great mark in his exam.

B: Figures! He studied every night, for hours and hours.

OR

A: Look, Windows is really easy to use . You just click on all these little icon things. For example, to get rid of something, you just drag it to the garbage can.

B: That figures.

It can also be used ironically. eg

A: Tom got a great mark in his exam.

B: Figures! He went out drinking and never studied at all!

2) Go figure! 'Figure' here has the meaning of 'try to understand'. The speaker is telling you to try to understand. It's an idiomatic phrase that is typically said as an exclamation on encountering something that surprises one. eg

A. Look, we're all trying to get a date with that great-looking girl, and she's only interested in Tom.

B: Go figure! Maybe she just likes ugly, stupid guys.

Best wishes, Clive
CliveA. Look, we're all trying to get a date with that great-looking girl, and she's only interested in Tom.

B: Go figure! Maybe she just likes ugly, stupid guys.

Without any offence Tom. Emotion: big smile

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Clive
A: Look, Windows is really easy to use . You just click on all these little icon things. For example, to get rid of something, you just drag it to the garbage can.

B: That figures.

Great examples, Clive. But how has B come to easily see by dragging it to the garbage can, you can get rid of it? A only mentioned clicking on icons.

Many thanks, Clive.

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
I'd point out that number 2 is a North American structure that you wouldn't hear in the UK. We would probably say "figure it out". To paraphrase Clive:

Figure it out! Maybe she just likes ugly, stupid guys.
Hi,

But how has B come to easily see by dragging it to the garbage can, you can get rid of it? A only mentioned clicking on icons.

Because A and B are sitting together in front of the computer, and A is showing B. I tried to signal that in my example by using the words 'Look' and 'these'.

Don't forget that language, especially spoken language, is not something tha happens in a vacuum.

Best wishes, Clive

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Oh, I got it, Clive. As A demonstrates in front of B how to delete it into the can, B sees it's easily done. Therefore, he says "Figures" meaning, "It's easy to understand."

CliveHi,

But how has B come to easily see by dragging it to the garbage can, you can get rid of it? A only mentioned clicking on icons.

Because A and B are sitting together in front of the computer, and A is showing B. I tried to signal that in my example by using the words 'Look' and 'these'.

Don't forget that language, especially spoken language, is not something tha happens in a vacuum.

Best wishes, Clive



"In a vacuum"?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
Hi,

Yes.

"In a vacuum"? In the context of language, this phrase means something like: all by itself, with no connection with anything else or any other influences or factors, with no context.

In other words, for example, when you speak, I hear your tone and stress, I see your face and your hands, I relate your words to my understanding of the subject, we are in a particular place, etc. We are 'not in a vacuum'.

Clive