Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

back and forth

back and forth
1) alternate from one direction or person to another
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • pace/chat/have a back and forth
  • Analysis
    In terms of movement, 'back and forth' means to move repeatedly from one place to another. Figuratively, this term can be used in reference to communication that goes to and from one person to another, and it implies a lack of progress: "I am sick of all these emails back and forth. Can we please come to a decision?" This phrase can be used in professional and social contexts.
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. The man paced back and forth anxiously in the hallway as he awaited the results of his medical exam. He was simply too restless to sit down.
    2. I had a spirited back and forth with James over the result of the football match. It was fun to shoot the breeze with him over it for a while.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Negotiations between the two companies over the deal involved a lot of back and forth, but both sides eventually came to an agreement.
    2. Instead of sending a lot of emails back and forth, it might be better to meet to discuss this in person.
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