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Your child's shorts are sagging. Do you say "Your shorts are coming out. Fix them!" or "Your shorts are coming off. Fix them!"?

English Language Learners Asked on October 14, 2020

We say “You put the shorts on” & “You take the shorts off“?

I am not sure if we can replace “put” & “take” with other verbs such as “slide“, “come“, etc.

For example, Your child’s shorts are sagging.

Do you say “Your shorts are coming off. Fix them!“?

I am not sure if it is idiomatic to say “Your shorts are coming out” or “Your shorts are coming off“?

One Answer

The right choice is

Your shorts are coming off.

If you said, 'Your shorts are coming out' it would mean that the shorts are inside of something, like a box, a suitcase or a dryer.

If you know what the person understands by 'fixing' their shorts, you can say

Your shorts are coming off. Fix them!

but this is very direct and implies a judgement that there's something wrong with the shorts the way they are, which could prompt a negative reaction by the person you're speaking to.

You could say

You slide the shorts on.
You slide the shorts off.
Your shorts are sliding off.

This has a slightly more sensual or motive connotation.

Correct answer by dwilli on October 14, 2020

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