Common mistake tongue and (in) cheek

Common English Mistake: Tongue and (in) Cheek

English is a complex language, and even native speakers can make mistakes. One common mistake is the incorrect usage of the expression "tongue and (in) cheek." If you've ever come across this phrase and wondered whether it should be "tongue and cheek" or "tongue in cheek," then keep reading.

Tongue in cheek

The correct phrase is "tongue in cheek." It is used to describe a statement or comment that is not meant to be taken seriously. When someone speaks "tongue in cheek," it means that they are being sarcastic or joking.

For example:

  • She made a tongue-in-cheek comment about his cooking skills.
  • His criticism was meant to be tongue in cheek, but some people took it seriously.

Tongue and cheek

The incorrect version, "tongue and cheek," is often used by mistake. However, it does not convey the same meaning as "tongue in cheek." In fact, "tongue and cheek" doesn't make any sense in English.

To remember the correct version, think of "tongue in cheek" as a literal expression. Picture someone speaking with their tongue inside their cheek to indicate that they are not being serious.

If you're still unsure, it's always a good idea to consult a trustworthy grammar checker like Linguix, which can help you identify and correct mistakes in your writing.

So, the next time you want to use the phrase "tongue in cheek," remember to keep those tongues inside the cheeks!

tongue and (in) cheek mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    He said it with a fair amount of tongue and cheek.

    He said it with a fair amount of tongue in cheek.

  • Correct:
    She said it with a fair amount of tongue in cheek.
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