to give someone rope

Click below to listen to the phrase.


Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to prevent someone from doing something

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

b) to allow someone to do something

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

to give someone rope means to give someone a lot of freedom to do something in the way they want to do it.

The phrase can also mean that if you give someone enough rope, you give them the chance to get themselves into trouble or expose themselves. (The full form is ’give someone enough rope and they’ll hang themselves’).

French translation

donner du jeu, lâcher la bride, donner à quelqu’un la corde pour se pendre

How NOT to translate into French : *donner de la corde à quelqu’un

Examples in the press

United Action Design Or Alternative-Government Manifesto ?


Action must ensure that the next election cycle is held on schedule. I am not in a hurry to advance it for the somewhat perverse reason that that the Paksas are so adept at hanging themselves that I would like to give them rope and time to finish the job. The worry of course is that the integrity of future elections may be corrupted. A comment that I frequently encounter is that the regime will fix future elections and that fraud, bureaucratic, physical or digital will be rampant. The Elections Commission is already embroiled in controversial transfers.

Columbo Telegraph, 25 July 2021


Everyday usage

The laboratory gave more rope to researchers so that they might expand the scope of their experiments.

Managers have to decide how much rope to give their teams.

EnglishTonic and Claramedia, 5 October 2021

c) to help someone do something

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

Missed last week’s phrase ? Catch up here

Claramedia | Mentions légales | Plan du siteVos prochains séminaires | Suivre la vie du site RSS 2.0 | © Aqueduc
SARL Claramedia - 134 rue du Bastion Saint-André - Porte 214 - 59000 Lille - Tél. : +33 (0)9 51 74 84 19 / +33 (0)6 08 05 01 08
Siret 799347505 00023 - TVA FR 88 799347505 - Centre de formation 8549A - SARL au capital de 1 500 euros
Nos clients nous recommandent