give someone an inch and they'll take a mile

give (one) an inch and (one) will take a mile

If one makes concessions for someone, that will embolden that person to take further advantage of one, instead of being content with what they have been given. If you let the kids stay up later on the weekends, they'll want to do it all the time. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.
See also: and, give, inch, mile, take, will

give someone an inch and they'll take a mile

If you say give someone an inch and they'll take a mile, you mean that if you do a small favour for someone, they will become greedy and ask you to do bigger and bigger favours for them and make you regret doing the first favour. Be tough and uncompromising — if you give colleagues an inch, they will take a mile. Note: Sometimes people just say give them an inch, or use another word instead of `mile'. You know what kids are like. Give them an inch. The problem with him was that if you gave him an inch he'd take six.
See also: and, give, inch, mile, someone, take
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