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easier said than done: meaning and explanation

If something is easier said than done, then it is simple in theory but more complicated in practice. It might seem like a good idea, but the reality will be more difficult or challenging.

We use this expression to communicate the fact that something is more difficult or complicated than it might seem.

Here’s an example (the speaker has an Irish accent):

, .
have this , but that's .

About the sentence

…we need to have this window replaced…

This is an example of the causative: to have something done. We use this structure to talk about paying or arranging for something to be done by someone else – often for services.

e.g. Remember, we’re having the car repaired on Friday so you’ll need to get the bus home from work.

Here’s another example in a Welsh accent:

And here’s another example in an RP accent:

Sometimes we can use this phrase on its own, in response to something someone else has suggested. Listen to this conversation extract to hear an example:

Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Have you ever faced a challenge or obstacle that seemed simple in theory but was much more difficult to accomplish in practice? How did you handle it?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the idea that some tasks or goals are easier said than done? Do you have any examples?

Photo by Ivan Vranić on Unsplash

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