A Skype conversation: "flipping a coin"

Here's a Skype conversation I had this morning with an English learner:

Shinichi: Hi, can i ask you a question?
PhraseMix: Hi
PhraseMix: Good morning.
PhraseMix: Sure, ask away.
Shinichi: first question: how do you say コインをひっくり返す in english?
PhraseMix: "flip a coin" (but I had to look it up)
Shinichi: oh ok
Shinichi: how about "turn over"?
PhraseMix: "Flipping" a coin means that you throw it up in the air
PhraseMix: and it falls back down on your hand
PhraseMix: and then you see if it's "heads" or "tails".
PhraseMix: Just turning a coin over would mean
PhraseMix: that the coin is on a table
PhraseMix: and you pick it up and turn it to show the other side
Shinichi: ok i see
Shinichi: so
Shinichi: what is the object is not a flat one?  like a box? what verb shouold i use?
Shinichi: what if**
PhraseMix: There are a lot of different nuances.
PhraseMix: When you're playing cards, "flipping" a card just means to turn it over.
PhraseMix: For a box, you would "turn it over".
PhraseMix: You "flip" a mattress when you want to make it fresher.
Shinichi: i see
Shinichi: umm
PhraseMix: When you're driving too fast in a car and then hit something, the car might "flip".
Shinichi: oh yea, i get the idea:]
Shinichi: when you want to see the bottom of the box, and you're going to tell your freind to do it,  what would you say to him?  hope you understand,,
PhraseMix: "Can you turn that over?"
Shinichi: ah
PhraseMix: If you used "flip" it wouldn't be wrong either though.
PhraseMix: It might just sound more energetic.
Shinichi: yea
PhraseMix: Overall, "flipping" something sounds more energetic.
Shinichi: ok I see

If you're on Skype, feel free to contact me at the username "phrasemix". I love hearing from readers through any mode of communication - Skype, e-mail, and especially in the comments!

  Print this Article