show somebody/learn/know the ropes

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learn the ropes

To learn or understand the basic details of how to do or perform a job, task, or activity. We have a few high-priority projects we need to get done now, so you'll need to learn the ropes on your own. This class is intense! They don't even give you a chance to learn the ropes before they throw an exam at you.
See also: learn, rope

know the ropes

Be informed about the details of a situation or task. For example, Don't worry about Sara's taking over that reporter's job-she already knows the ropes. This expression alludes to sailors learning the rigging so as to handle a sailing vessel's ropes. It was being used figuratively by the late 1800s. The same allusion is present in show someone the ropes, meaning "to familiarize someone with the details," as in Tom's very experienced-he'll show you the ropes.
See also: know, rope

learn the ropes

COMMON If you learn the ropes, you learn how to do a particular job or task. He tried hiring more salesmen to push the products, but they took too much time to learn the ropes. By the time he was 34, he had learnt the ropes of the jewellery trade. Note: You can also say that someone knows the ropes when they know how a particular job or task should be done. He'd been in the business for over ten years so he knew the ropes. Note: The origin of this expression is from sailing ships, where the sailors had to get to know the complicated system of ropes which made up the rigging.
See also: learn, rope

know the ropes

be thoroughly acquainted with the way in which something is done. informal
In its literal sense, this expression goes back to the days of sailing ships, when skill in handling ropes was essential for any sailor. The idiom is found in various forms, from the mid 19th century onwards, e.g. learn or understand the ropes and show or teach someone the ropes
See also: know, rope

show somebody/learn/know the ˈropes

(informal) explain to somebody/learn/know how to do a particular job, task, etc. correctly: It will take me a couple of weeks to learn the ropes but after that I should be fine.Mrs Brian will show you the ropes.This expression refers to a sailor learning the different ropes for the sails of a ship.
See also: know, learn, rope, show, somebody