Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts
To 'learn the ropes' means to know how to do something or learn how to do something particularly in regard to a job or skill. When you 'learn the ropes' you discover how a particular task is done. To 'show someone the ropes' IT means to teach someone how to do a particular job or task. If you 'show someone the ropes' it can also mean to help someone get to know a new group neighbourhood or work environment. In a negative context to 'show someone the ropes' can mean to 'rough someone up' or be violent towards them usually as a means of teaching them a lesson. This particular use is colloquial and casual and is associated with 'the ropes' of a boxing ring.