to give someone rope

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Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to prevent someone from doing something

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b) to allow someone to do something

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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
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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

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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

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