I defy you to tell where I've painted over the scratch on my car.

Hi, please have a look at this:

I defy you to tell where I’ve painted over the scratch on my car.
=> How can I understand this: does the speaker ask about the place where he had the scratch on his car painted over, or does he ask about where the scratch had been? (I think the former makes more sense)

Thank you very much.

Hi Nessie

The speaker is basically challenging someone else to identify the location/place on the car where there used to be a visible scratch.

The speaker obviously thinks that the repair (the painting over of the scratch) was so good that, simply by looking at the car, it is completely impossible for anyone to notice that there used to be a scratch on it.

Hi, Amy

I think it might be worded this way “I dare you to tell where I’ve painted over the scratch on my car”
Do you think this wording is possible (maybe at a push) ?

Thanks !

Hi Alex

When you dare someone to do something, there is usually some sort of risk involved in doing what someone has dared you to do.

That said, I suppose that you could also use ‘dare’ in this context. This ‘risk’ might be that you risk being completely wrong, or that you “risk” being completely incapable of identifying the spot.

And don’t you dare scratch that car again!

Hi, Amy

Thank you !

I recall a game called “truth or dare” (maybe you’ve heard of it), where you choose either truth or dare, and depending on your choice your opponent will either make you tell something true about yourself, or dare you to do something :smiley:

I find the phrase “I defy you to tell” a little odd. “To tell” here has the meaning “to perceive”; but in the phrase “I defy you to X”, “X” is usually a conscious action of some kind.

It would be as strange as saying “I defy you to hear that music!” We either hear the music or we don’t; we have no control in the matter.

These though would sound fine:

  1. I defy you to identify the place where I painted…
  2. I defy you to tell me where I painted…