You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/"leave a lot to be desired"

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted,
I know there is an expression "leave a lot to be desired". Can you replace the word "lot" with other words i.e. "nothing", "little", "very little", etc? In other words, do the following sentences make sense?
1. My job leaves nothing to be desired.
2. My job leaves little to be desired.
3. My job leaves very little to be desired.

Answer
Dear Glen:

I know there is an expression "leave a lot to be desired". Can you replace the
word "lot" with other words i.e. "nothing", "little", "very little", etc? In
other words, do the following sentences make sense?
1. My job leaves nothing to be desired.
2. My job leaves little to be desired.
3. My job leaves very little to be desired.

**** All the sentences are correct.  Your analysis is excellent.

Glen, there are several variations on the "leaves nothing" expression.  I am sorry that I cannot name the comedian and the woman about which he commented, but here is his statement:

Her dress had a very low neckline and a very short length:  It left nothing to the imagination.

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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.

Experience

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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.