Archive for January 20, 2011

grammatical expression: not on your life


I have a nice, short entry for you today for this week’s grammatical expression: “not on your life”. This is used as a response to a question, and it is used to mean that we or someone else would never agree to do something. For example:

A: Do you think Eric will come dancing with us tonight?

B: Not on your life. He hates dancing!


A: Do you think your father will let us borrow his car?

B: Not on your life! He never lets me borrow it!


A: Would you like to try bungee jumping?

B: Not on your life! I would be way too scared to do that!


A: How about having Korean food this weekend?

B: Not on your life! I can’t stand spicy food!


A: I want you to come with me to see the new Nicolas Parker movie.

B: Not on your life! I really don’t like him as an actor!

So, with this expression, we use it to talk about future events, and we say “not on your life” to indicate our or someone else’s unwillingness to do something in the future. It’s quite a strong expression, so you should only use it with close friends but not with someone of higher status.

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