+1

Hi,

1) I have a question about the idiom ‘on one’s radar’.

Can it be slightly modified when I’m talking about the process of something drawing my attention rather than already being aware of it?

Are these possible?

‘find its way into my radar’

‘get on my radar’

2) Can I trace something in my head?

“I couldn’t really trace the questions I’d most likely screwed up in the test in my head.”

Thank you

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Comments  

There are live and dead metaphors. This one is totally alive. Anything you can say about a real radar set can be said in the expression.

Ann225‘find its way into my radar’

onto

Ann225‘get on my radar’

In the right context, I guess. I would need to see a sentence.

Ann225“I couldn’t really trace the questions I’d most likely screwed up in the test in my head.”

I can't make sense of that.

Thank you.

As for the second question, I was trying to think back on the questions I might have answered incorrectly, but I couldn’t recall anything. I had a bad score, so I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

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Ann225

Thank you.

As for the second question, I was trying to think back on the questions I might have answered incorrectly, but I couldn’t recall anything. I had a bad score, so I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

"Trace" does not work for that. "Identify" is the base idea, I guess. You could say "sniff out". "In my head" seems unneeded, though.

Thank you. Emotion: smile
Ann225“I couldn’t really trace the questions I’d most likely screwed up in the test in my head.”

This is not something a native speaker would say. I would probably use the phrasal verb "to figure out".

https://www.teacherprix.com/phrasal-verb-figure-out-learn-use/

If you learn this phrasal verb - why not try to use it in your sentence and we can let you know if you used it correctly!

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Thanks. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I do know how to use ‘figure out’. It was one of the first phrasal verbs I learnt when I took up English many years ago.

I was thinking of something else to use in the given situation. That’s all. I had a feeling that ‘trace’ wasn’t right, but I needed to be a hundred percent sure.

After all, this forum’s here to help us pinpoint our mistakes and reassure us in our understanding of the English language when it’s correct.

It’s all good now. I came up with a different way of expressing the idea of searching for a thought in one’s mind.

I know that many (most?) phrasal verbs are difficult for non native speakers. I'm sorry if you felt that I expected you to know how to use them. I don't expect that at all because I know how challenging they are!

"To Figure Out" is indeed a common phrasal verb we use instead of other verbs. "To Solve" is a verb we often replace with "To Figure Out".

"I figured out the puzzle."

In your question about using the verb "to trace", you could use "To Figure Out".

“I couldn’t really trace the questions I’d most likely screwed up in the test in my head.”

I couldn't really figure out the questions I most likely screwed up on the test.

or

I went over in my head the test questions and I just couldn't figure out how I screwed up.

Not really. I actually felt like you were making me look dumb. I’m not a very confident person, but I dare to say that I have quite an extensive vocabulary. That’s why I was a bit taken aback when you suggested that I didn’t know how to use ‘figure out’. I’m sorry. I hope I don’t sound vain. It’s my problem that even the smallest things that are meant to help me can shake up my confidence.

Thank you again for going out of your way to be helpful. I know that I can use all these options. I was specifically asking about ‘trace’ because I spotted it on a dubious website.

I really appreciate your help though. Emotion: smile

I mostly post questions here when I stumble across a phrasal verb or a sentence that doesn’t soung good to my ear and I need you to help me either rule it out or comfirm that it’s actually correct.

Thank you again. Emotion: smile

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