English Language Lessons

Tips and training suggestions for learning English as a foreign language.

Idiom of the week – Put/lay one’s cards on the table

Posted by englishlessons on February 8, 2012

Definition:

be completely open or honest about one’s position on an issue

Examples:

We decided to be transparent about our position on this issue. We put all our cards on the table.
He surprised me by laying his cards on the table at the beginning of our negotiations.

Picture it:

In a card game you usually can’t see the other players’ cards. You have to make your move or bet based on guesses about your opponents’ cards. If you lay your cards on the table, everyone will be able to see how many points you have.

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