What is the Meaning of
(to) DO someone A FAVOUR
(to) RETURN THE FAVOUR?
Definition 1: DO SOMEONE A FAVOUR
do something for someone as an act of kindness
- Will you please do me a favour and give this to your sister the next time you see her?
- Her uncle did me a big favour by hiring me, so I don’t feel right about quitting just because a better job has come along.
- It’s so cold today. Why don’t you do your brother a favour and pick him up at school so he doesn’t have to take the bus home?
Definition 2: DO SOMEONE A FAVOUR
The meaning is same as definition 1, but this expression can also be used to communicate frustration, or annoyance.
- Do everybody a favour and stop talking! You have nothing of value to say, and you are upsetting everyone.
- Do me a favour and just leave. You are making me really angry!
Definition – RETURN THE FAVOUR
do something for someone as an act of kindness, because they have already done something nice for you
- Today lunch is on us*. You paid last time and we would like to return the favour. (*lunch is on us = we will pay for lunch)
- You always make our coffee in the morning. Let me return the favour. I’ll make it tomorrow morning and you stay in bed.
- Watch this cat return the favour when it gets its back scratched!