The English expressions:
- throw a spanner in the works
- put a spanner in the works
- throw a (monkey) wrench in the works
Mean: to do something that prevents a plan or activity from succeeding:
Example: The funding for the project was withdrawn so that really threw a spanner in the works.
- To put a spoke in someone's wheel
Meaning: to make it difficult for someone to achieve something they had planned to do
Example - His letter really put a spoke in our wheel.
1) Based on all the mentioned explanations, these four expressions mean so close that I cannot distinguish them. I wonder if you could give me a hand to differentiate between them.
2) Is it normal if I use throw a spanner in the works regarding a specific person and say: throw a spanner in [someone's] works or throw a spanner in the works of [someone]?
3) I would be appreciative if you could also help me to regionally devide them so that I discover which one is widespread in which country (AE and BE.