I was wondering how to use this properly if I want to connect it to a more descriptive verb:

For example:

"He made quick work of the thorn." doesn't really describe the specific action, "to remove" (or maybe something else was done with the thorn, like crushing it, or eating it, or whatever.)

Can you say, or is it better to say, "He made quick work of removing the thorn." or rather is it "He made quick work removing the thorn." without the "of"?

Does "quick work" have its own inherent meaning or can it be used to help another verb.

1 Answer 1


He made quick use of the thorn.

This actually means he defeated the thorn, the thorn being an opponent in this case. That is the inherent meaning when not used with another verb, to remove in the case of your example.

He made quick work of removing the thorn.

This means he made it possible for removing the thorn to be done quickly or easily.

The of is necessary for proper usage of this idiom.

Reference: Merriam Webster - make short/quick/light work of

  • You're welcome! If this is the answer you're looking for, please mark this as the answer; otherwise, let me know if I can further clarify Jun 5, 2019 at 12:41
  • Except that’s not what this idiom means; your second example, which is indeed correct, means he actually removed the thorn quickly, himself — not that he made it possible for himself or anyone else to do it quickly in a subsequent acton. Jul 4, 2019 at 21:41

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