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to tie up loose ends


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Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to finish a past action

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

To tie up loose ends’ means to deal with the last few small duties left over from a past action or task. Once these duties are dealt with, the task is completely finished.

French translation

régler les dernier détails

How NOT to translate : *attacher les bouts mal noués

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Examples in context

‘Exclusive : Mixu Paatelainen to be named the new Dundee United manager

Mixu Paatelainen is today tying up the loose ends that will see him become Dundee United’s new manager.

The Finn, a former Tannadice star and legendary striker, has beaten a host of hopefuls to be named Jackie McNamara’s successor.

Pastelainen, who managed his national team for four years and was named boss of the year during his spell at Kilmarnock, was part of a three-man shortlist with John Hughes and Tommy Wright.’

The Scottish Daily Record, 13 October 2015

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‘New scheme launched at Thomas Hardy’s former home

A writer in Residence programme has been announced for Thomas Hardy’s former home at Max Gate in Dorchester.

Boris Starling, author of the Messiah books, has been appointed to the role as part of the Writing Places scheme, a project involving Literature Works, The National Trust and The Poetry Archive.

He has put together a programme of events and workshops at the venue so people can visit the house and find out more about writing, Boris and literature in general.

Boris will be discussing how to plot books – how to make sure everything connects both logistically and emotionally, tie up all loose ends and how to put in little details which seem insignificant at the time but become crucial later.’

The Dorset Echo, 29 September 2015

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Everyday usage

We will have a final meeting on Tuesday in order to tie up any loose ends related to this matter.

We need to tie up loose ends after our break-up.

b) to change a past action

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) to regret a past action

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.


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