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General Writing and Grammar Help/One thing leads to another

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Question
Dear Ted:

Does the expression/phrase "one thing leads to another" exist?

If so, when is it used?

Would you please give me a couple of examples?

By the way, is it an "expression" or a "phrase"?

Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Does the expression/phrase "one thing leads to another" exist?

If so, when is it used?

Would you please give me a couple of examples?

By the way, is it an "expression" or a "phrase"?

*** It is a commonly used expression.  

EXAMPLES:

The children were playing with matches.  They lit the matches and held the burning wood
as long as they could.  Well, one thing led to another, and they ended up burning down the house.

Jack was a wealthy man who loved to gamble.  His love became an addiction, preventing him from stopping the playing of poker.  As one thing led to another, Jack, once a millionaire, became a beggar living on the streets.

*** Paolo, I am confused about your question:  By the way, is it an "expression" or a "phrase"?

It is very difficult to determine, given that I don't know what you mean by the two terms.
For instance, "to the store" is a preposition PHRASE, but it is certainly NOT what I call an "expression."

"As stubborn as a mule" is a quaint EXPRESSION.  It is also a phrase.  I have been telling you what I think are "expressions" and/or "phrases."  However, I don't know if I'm making a mistake, because I do not know what you mean by either word.  Help me.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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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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