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When I googled 'redouble the year' I was directed to French sites, and I noticed that it is indeed used. Now, I want to have a confirmation from English native speakers. Can 'redouble' be used for 'repeat'? I'd be very grateful for your help.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

No, it can’t. The only use of redouble I can think of immediately is in redouble your efforts, with the sense of ‘work much harder’. If you have to repeat a course, you can say just that or, more simply, do the course again.

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Also "redouble" is something in the card game Bridge. Meaning you double a second time. –  GEdgar Jan 2 '12 at 16:21
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@GEdgar: Yes, there are several meanings, some of them quite specialized. 'Redouble your efforts' is the one that sprang to mind. –  Barrie England Jan 2 '12 at 16:23
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"Doubled and redoubled" appears in some common translations of the Passover Haggadah; e.g., "Thus how much more so should we be grateful to the Omnipresent One for the doubled and redoubled goodness that He has bestowed upon us". This may just mean that the translators (or the Omnipresent One) love bridge, but I'd wager it's a literal translation. –  Andrew Lazarus Dec 11 '12 at 21:00

Although the dictionary definition of redouble is to double or to repeat, it is seldom used by native English speakers to mean this.

I strongly suspect that most English speakers would understand it to mean "to double something that has already been doubled. It is used in this exact sense in the game of Bridge.

The reasonably common idiom "He redoubled his efforts", can then be read as "Having already doubled his efforts, he doubled them again".

Again, this is not the dictionary definition, but it's my strong sense that that is how most people would understand it.

"Repeat the year" is what English speakers would say. There is no reason to look for an alternative phrase.

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I wanted to know whether 'redouble' can ever be used in the context I've given. You are telling me it is 'seldom' used in that sense. So I deduce that it can be used though I will never use it to mean to repeat the year. Sounds awkward to my ear. Thank you Slim for your answer. –  Tanninah Jan 3 '12 at 15:24
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Yes, I said "seldom" because if I said "never" then one use would make me wrong. I'll add that the people who do use it are likely to be very confident native speakers. There is no reason for an ESL speaker to use the word redouble. –  slim Jan 3 '12 at 15:26
    
Okay, thank you. –  Tanninah Jan 3 '12 at 15:32

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