A man and a woman are sitting next to each other at a bar. The man says something to the woman. The woman looks at him and answers shortly, then turns back to her drink to avoid further conversation.

If it's established that they are sitting next to each other, is it natural to use "turns back to her drink" here to mean that she just turned her head away from looking at him and back to her drink?

  • Yes, perfectly natural.
    – Colin Fine
    May 1, 2020 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


The usage of "turns back to" is perfectly natural. Though, the phrase "answers shortly" is a little odd and would not particularly be used, so I suggest replacing "shortly" with a different adverb like "briefly," or add to the sentence and say "and responds briefly." This would sound a bit better and would create a smoother sentence.

  • Shortly in the sense of briefly, abruptly is perfectly acceptable. May 1, 2020 at 15:38

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