I got a call from my company and I heard as follows:

Sorry, we are going to have to let you go now.

Can anyone tell me what does this means.

  • 1
    It means you haven't got a job anymore.'Let you go' is a euphemism for 'make you go', constructed by understatement. – Roaring Fish Oct 21 '14 at 6:48
  • My intention is to know how this sentence was constructed according to the grammar rules – pramod Oct 21 '14 at 6:51

There are not many "grammar" rules in play here; there is euphemism (idiom) and maybe some light metaphor.

When you were employed with them, the company was keeping you, holding on to you. Well, they're not doing that anymore; in fact, they're letting you go.

When you no longer wish to be holding something, when you've lost the desire to keep it, you open your hand and let it go. Get it?

By the way, in US corporate culture at least, there is a significant difference between being let go (laid off) and fired. The former can be the result of downsizing, restructuring, elimination of roles or depts, etc, but latter is used when the action is (a) specific to you and (b) almost always for cause. That is, you can't get yourself laid off, but you can certainly get yourself fired.

And kudos for taking an interest in idiom and grammar after that phone call. English certainly wouldn't be the first thing on my mind!

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It means you are fired. I'm sorry.

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"Let you go" means "fire you". "We have to let you go" implies that they don't like to fire you. But they are in a situation that they have no other choice. By adding "We are going to" they are saying that this situation will happen in [probably close] future.

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The sentence can carry multiple meanings, depending on how it is delivered and the context.

It could suggest truly that the company would prefer not to let you go- perhaps your work is great but the company is losing money. In other cases it could be used to emphasize that your behaviour has been so bad that they are forced to terminate your employment immediately. The 'sorry' might be an empty politeness, a true regret eg that you will face tough times, or a firm rejection of a plea from you to be kept on.

The "let you go" usually radically understates the true dynamics at play. It isn't really that 'we' are going to cease detaining you from the departure you desire, but that 'we' are using our dominance to make it happen.

On the phone it is not unusual to use the turn of phrase 'let you go' to signal a desire to end the conversafion. Sometimes it is true and a politeness, other times it is really an impolite and somewhat brusque way to end the call while ascribing the need to the other person.

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The phrasing is the grown-ups' equivalent of getting your girlfriend to dump you so that you don't have to dump her.

We're going to have to let you go; in other words:

We are no longer able to compel you to stay, so if you were to walk out the door and never come back, we'd simply wring our hands in despair and try to muddle through somehow. The door, by the way, is conveniently situated just over there...

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