Author Topic: to scare someone into doing something (noun)  (Read 489 times)

Offline bookworm

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to scare someone into doing something (noun)
« on: December 08, 2019, 07:17:00 pm »
In my native language, we have a noun (very informal) that is related to the verb scare, and it is applied to things or ideas that scare people into doing something. I'm not sure if there is an equivalent noun in English that will sound natural even in casual conversations.

a) For example, an unruly child is told that a monster will appear and take him somewhere if he does not behave. Later, that child will grow up and realize that it is just a foolish story made by some babysitters to scare kids into behaving.

It can also be things like a contract. Let's say a landlord has a phobia about courtrooms, judges, and lawyers; but he asks his tenants to sign a contract anyway, just to scare them into paying the rent. But, in reality, he will not sue you even if you breach the contract because of his extreme fear of the trial court and people who work there.

I think there is no noun equivalent in English, only an expression:

a) That foolish story was only invented to scare kids into behaving.
b) He only uses the contract to scare tenants into paying the rent.

Do you find these sentences natural?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 07:21:59 pm by bookworm »
English is my second language.

Offline Darryl

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Re: to scare someone into doing something (noun)
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2019, 09:41:53 am »
The word 'intimidate' comes to mind, but I don't think any single word could encapsulate the whole meaning you want. Your two example sentences convey the meaning perfectly, albeit with several words.

Offline admin

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Re: to scare someone into doing something (noun)
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 07:57:53 pm »
Bogeyman?
Best wishes,

Duncan

Offline bookworm

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Re: to scare someone into doing something (noun)
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2019, 05:07:59 pm »
Thanks!

The word bluff also comes to mind with regard to the contract story. Please confirm if these three sentences are okay:

a) Don't worry. He only uses the contract as a bluff.

b) I cannot leave because I still have a contract with him.
- It's just a bluff. Believe me, you can leave now, and he won't take you to court.

c) When the landlord threatened to sue her, she called his bluff and told him he can do want he wants.
English is my second language.

Offline Darryl

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Re: to scare someone into doing something (noun)
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2019, 09:16:33 am »
Yes, that works.