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What exactly does the phrase 'the thing is' means?
English is my foreign language and I hear people starting their sentences with 'The thing is' like in 'The thing is, these documents are not valid' What exactly does it mean and when do you use it? Is it commonly used? and most importantly is it formal to use it, for example in a meeting etc.
- MJ3000Lv 41 decade agoFavorite Answer
It means "The problem/issue/important point is...". You can use it to replace any of those words when you're trying to make it clear what is wrong. Use it in spoken conversation (meetings are ok depending on how formal it is) or informal written conversations or text. I wouldn't use it in a formal research paper for school or when sending emails to bosses, teachers, etc. It is used quite often.
- ?Lv 71 decade ago
"The thing is..." is very commonly used, which also means it's best not to use it in a formal setting! You may also have heard young people use the word "Like..." all the time; example: "So then she, like, hung up the phone on me!" or "They were like really bored." It's poor English.
To say "The thing is" will just be another popular Americanism, or maybe used in all English-speaking countries, I don't know.
It's a phrase I call 'extra baggage,' by which I mean people don't really need to say it at all. People tack it on to sentences they say for reasons that I just don't know. Others may have more to say on the subject.
Good luck with your English, it sounds good to me!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
it means, what i'm trying to make you aware of...
so instead of saying, "the thing is, i can't go to work tomorrow because, my stomach hurt's.
you can say, "what i'm trying to make you aware of is, i can't go to work tomorrow because, my stomach hurt's
it's just shorter. to say, "the thing is"
as appose to dragging it out with too many words.
however, it's not proper in formal setting's but, you can say it with friend's or family. but, if you were at work or meating important people. it's best not to use slang or broken english.
by the way awesome job on your writing. nice!
- maddog27271Lv 61 decade ago
No, it is not formal - it is slang for "An important thing to consider in this situation is"
- octo75Lv 41 decade ago
It usually means, " the problem is " .