Use of "Let"

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Use of "Let"

Post  Code Maestro on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:37 am


    We can use let to mean to rent out a house.
    • We moved to Australia and let our house in London.

    A major use of let is for talking about ‘allowing’ and ‘permission’.
    • My mother let me come.
    • I let her leave early.

    One pattern is let followed by an OBJECT followed by a BARE INFINITIVE
    • She let me have the last one.
    • You must let us know when you are coming to New York.
    • I didn’t let my friend drive my car.
    • Why did you let Jane do that?

    Another pattern is let followed by an OBJECT followed by a COMPLEMENT
    • Let me past.
    • The police aren’t letting anybody out of the building.
    • Don’t let him get away.
    • Why did you let him in?

    Notice that we can use reflexive pronouns to talk about what we allow ourselves to do.
    • I let myself be influenced by her.
    • She let herself out.
    • I didn’t let myself be talked into it.
    • Did you let yourself in?

    Notice that we do not make a contraction out of let us when asking for permission.
    • Let us help you.
    • Let us pay for this.
    • Let us buy that.
    • Let us take the risk.

    We use let’s when we are making a suggestion.
    • Let’s go to the cinema.
    • Let’s stay at home.
    • Let’s not argue. (formal)
    • Don’t let’s argue. (informal)

    Compare these
    • Let us watch TV, please. (asking for permission)
    • Let’s watch TV. (a suggestion)

    There are many fixed expressions, idioms and phrasal verbs using let.

    Let alone means ‘much less’
    • I’ve never been to Africa, let alone Ghana.
    • I’ve never met any actor, let alone Brad Pitt.

    Let go can mean to dismiss
    • My company let 20 people go.
    • I was let go three weeks ago.

    Let your hair down means to lose your inhibitions.
    • At the office party, everybody let their hair down and we had fun.

    Don’t let it get you down means to stay cheerful although something bad has happened.
    • Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t let it get you down.

    let you off’/let you off the hook means that you are excused, even though you did something wrong or had something bad to do.
    • I made a mess but the boss let me off.
    • I was supposed to tidy up after the party but I was let off the hook as Sandra did it.



    Letting off steam means to get rid of excess energy or frustration.
    • After work I go to the gym and let off steam on the treadmill.
    • We need to go out after the exams and let off steam.

    Let me see and let me think are expressions used to give you time to think.
    • You want a raise? Let me think. Can we discuss this later?
    • A good place for lunch? Let me see. How about the Italian restaurant?

    Let’s say and let’s suppose are used to talk about hypothetical situations.
    • Let’s say that you were boss. What would you do?
    • Let’s suppose that we don’t get the contract. What do we do?

    Let’s hope is used to express a hope.
    • Let’s hope he gets the job.
    • Yes, let’s hope so.

Code Maestro

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