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Putting two and two together, they came up with the murderer. Options
Reiko07
Posted: Saturday, June 5, 2021 5:16:23 PM

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(1) Putting two and two together, they came up with the murderer.
two and two together

(2) They put two and two together, and came up with the murderer.

Question: Is it possible to rephrase (1) as (2)?
towan52
Posted: Saturday, June 5, 2021 5:32:16 PM

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Yes, although #1 seems more natural to me.
Reiko07
Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2021 3:45:22 AM

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Thanks, towan52.

thar
Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2021 7:06:03 AM

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Have you seen this full phrase, to understand why it is this way?

Two and two makes four.
That is the simplest maths you can do. There is only one correct answer. Simple. 2+2=4

So there are several ways the idiom uses that.

Put two and two together - think you have reached a logical conclusion from the sparse information you have. It usually refers to gossip or romour, so it is not as reliable as it sounds.

Put two and two together and make five. = draw the wrong conclusion from rumour and gossip.
Just because you saw them talking in the car park does not mean they are having a raging affair.


Put two and two tgether and [reach conclusion] =use logical deduction from the information you have. Easy.

Wouldn't stand up in court! Whistle
Reiko07
Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2021 8:55:30 AM

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thar wrote:
Have you seen this full phrase, to understand why it is this way?


Yes, I have. One of my English-Japanese dictionaries gives the following examples:

(1) "How did you figure it out?" "It wasn't hard. I just put two and two together."

(2) I'm worried. If the police learn that we owed Green a lot of money when he died, they're going to start putting two and two together.

(3) Sherlock Holmes was quick to put two and two together to make four.

(4) My wife is very jealous. Every time she sees me talking to another woman, she puts two and two together and gets five.

thar
Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2021 9:07:32 AM

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Yep, those are the variations.
Like most idioms, though, it is common to only use half of it, which can make it look a bit odd.
Reiko07
Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2021 12:12:05 PM

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Joined: 10/30/2018
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Thanks, thar.

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