“I'll fiddle around with it for a while.”

English Lesson: I'll fiddle around with it for a while.

A co-worker is trying to create a spreadsheet to calculate some information. He can't figure out how to calculate it, so he asks you for help. You can't immediately fix it, but you'd like to try a few different options. You say this.

I'll fiddle around with it for a while.

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I'll (do something)

When you want to offer to do something, and you're sure that the listener will accept your offer, say "I'll ___":

I'll call you next week and we can settle on the time and place.

I'll go pick up all the stuff we need.

I'll print out a few copies of that for people to refer to.

If you're not as sure that your offer will be accepted, you can say "I can ___ if you want.":

I can fiddle around with it for a while if you want.

fiddle around with (something)

When something isn't working correctly, you might "fiddle around with" it. Fiddling around with something means trying different things to see what works. Here are some things that you might "fiddle around with":

  • a computer program that you don't really know how to use correctly
  • a part that's fallen off of your bicycle
  • a new music player that your wife can't figure out how to load songs into

When you "fiddle around with" something, it's usually because you don't really know how to fix it well.

(do something) for a while

"A while" is a short or medium length of time. It can be a few minutes, hours, or days, depending on the situation.