to go to the dogs

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Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to be wasted

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b) to deteriorate

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If something, a country or organisation ’goes to the dogs’, it becomes less powerful, successful, efficient, etc. than before.

French translation

aller à vau-l’eau, partir en vrille

How NOT to translate : *aller aux chiens
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Examples in the press

‘Biden’s canine plans go to the dogs after ’biting incident’

He came into the White House tasked with bringing sanity and even a bit of fun, but less than two months later, the Bidens’ dog Major has bitten off more than he can chew.
In a city famous for politicians snapping at each other, the German Shepherd went one further by using real teeth.

His reported target was apolitical - not a visiting opposition Republican senator or even a journalist, but a security agent, according to CNN.’

Msn news, 10 April 2021

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Everyday usage

The week started off not bad but went to the dogs fairly quickly.

Many people think this country’s going to the dogs.

Boy, this party has really gone to the dogs. First, there was no barbecue, now, we find out there isn’t a birthday cake.

EnglishTonic and Claramedia, 5 June 2021

c) to be discounted

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