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General Writing and Grammar Help/Let someone down - turn someone down

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to LET someone down" and "to TURN someone down"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to LET someone down" and "to TURN someone
down"?

*** Yes.  The MAIN meaning of "letting someone down" is that you are disappointing that person.

EXAMPLES:  When I wrecked our family's car, I really let down my parents, who had trusted me to drive carefully.

I know that Marsha really likes me, but I don't care for her.  I don't want to hurt her feelings, so I am going to let her down gradually.

*** The MAIN meaning of "turning someone down" is that you are totally rejecting that person.

EXAMPLES:  Having lied to the American people and to Congress, Hillary Clinton may be turned down by the majority of voters, if she chooses to run for the presidency in 2016.

John asked me to loan him $100, but I turned him down.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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