I'm learning for Ielts test, and in the book "Cambridge Ielts 1" which I'm using has this question "How does it close"? (I will extract relating conversation below). When I google it, it seems like not many people have used it in daily life, does it? And what does this question mean besides? And what does the police mean when he say "Never mind" in this conversation? Does he want to solace the girl? Thank you!

(police) Tell me what it looks like? (girl) It's a soft leather one, you know, not a heavy box-type like a man's - How does it close? - It's got buckles at the front...two of them. They're gold-plated ones - Fine...was it clocked? - No, I'm afraid not - Never mind

  • It’s “was It locked” not ’clocked’
    – Jim
    Jul 25, 2018 at 6:03
  • @Jim unless he was a traffic cop and wanted to know if the speeding handbag was caught by a radar gun... Jul 25, 2018 at 6:18
  • Hi Anh Phan, welcome to English Language & Usage (ELU). Note that ELU is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. The best place to ask questions about basic English is at English Language Learners. Good luck for your test :-) Jul 25, 2018 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


How does it close?

The police officer is asking the girl how the purse closes or shuts in order to help identify it. Does it close with a clasp? A lock? A magnet? A buckle?

The same question could be used for anything, eg:

Person A: "Could you please close the door?"
Person B: "How does it close?"
Person A: "Slide it from left."

Never mind

This can mean "Don't worry about it" or "It doesn't matter".

For example:

"I can't find my glasses, can you help me look for them? Never mind, here they are on the table."

In the information you've provided above I'd expect more to follow the 'never mind' statement. It's hard to know exactly what the police officer implies without the rest of the sentence.

  • I would say not purse, but briefcase...
    – Jim
    Jul 25, 2018 at 5:56
  • Yes you're right it could be any object that is soft leather and has straps with buckles - suitcase, purse, backpack, etc
    – MeltingDog
    Jul 25, 2018 at 6:01
  • But it says, “not a heavy box type like a man’s” that leaves only briefcase in my mind.
    – Jim
    Jul 25, 2018 at 6:02

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