Monday, June 1, 2009 8:47 AM by Belle Bedazzled

Question 1:

Which is correct?

"I have something I've got to tell you."
"I have something to tell you."
"I've got something to tell you."

All the suggested sentences given above are correct but there are differences in emphasis which help to explain the different wording. The first sentence "I have something I've got to tell you." is the strongest in tone and indicates that the 'something' is really important. It is similar in meaning to: I have something I must tell you. We can give even greater emphasis:

"I have something I have really got to tell you."
"I have something I have just got to tell you. "

Question 2:

Are these words "crossed paths", "paths cross" and "cross swords" different or identical in meaning?

Let me start off with 'cross swords' as that is probably the easiest. It simply means to have an argument or to exchange sharp words.

An example would be:
"The prime minister and the leader of the opposition crossed swords in parliament yesterday."

The other two are basically synonymous. They would be used as follows: George and Helen crossed paths in Spain in the 1990s. At that time, they didn't realise that their paths would cross again fifteen years later. Basically, the meaning is that the two met or affected each other in some way. Often, the implication is that the 'meeting' was not planned in any way; fate played a part. However, this is not always the case.


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