T-learning # Idiom
Speak Like a Native

to float your boat

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to be very good at something

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

b) to like something

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

When people say ’whatever floats your boat’ they mean that you should do whatever makes you happy. If something floats your boat it means you like or enjoy doing something.

French translation

comme tu voudras, ce qui te fera plaisir

How NOT to translate : *ce qui fait flotter ton bateau


Examples in context

’Pizza abominations are flying out of the kitchen but, hey, the place has a banging DJ’

‘It’s a long time since I’ve seen a menu this lengthy – there must be more than 60 different dishes, from fancy cuisine to comfort food. If there isn’t something on it to float your boat, you must be a right old codger. Talk about variety.
Nope, I can’t keep this up. I want so much to like Artisan. But, with the exception of the sparky service – especially from tiny Jennifer – I simply cannot. It feels like a factory, a processing plant for posers who care more about being seen than what’s on their plates.’

The Guardian, 21st Sept. 2013


‘Why crosswords still float your boat.’

’On the bus from his home in South Kensington, central London, to the investment bank where he worked in the City, Mark Goodliffe, 27, pulled a newspaper from his briefcase, as he did every morning, and started the crossword of his choice, the Times cryptic.
When he had completed it, Goodliffe calmly folded his copy of The Times, and slipped it back into the case. Only then did he sense a pair of eyes on him. The passenger sitting next to him on the bus had been watching, slack-jawed.
“That,” his fellow commuter said, “was amazing. Just amazing.”
Goodliffe had finished the cryptic crossword in less than 10 minutes. This is not just quick — it’s insanely, inhumanly, unbeatably quick.’

The Times, 15 December 2013


Everyday usage

"I would quite like to go to this restaurant. Is that ok ?"
"Yes, if that floats your boat"

I am free tonight. We can do whatever floats your boat.

c) to own a boat

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

Missed last week’s phrase ? Catch up here