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In the phrase: "when you read about it, but might not turn out to be so" I can not understand the meaning of "turn out to be so".

I can guess it, but I have a problem with the construction of it. Is it an idiom?!

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  • What is the 'it' that the sentence refers to? Sep 4, 2021 at 17:57
  • Could you write a complete sentence using this phrase?
    – user3169
    Sep 4, 2021 at 19:05
  • @KateBunting The phrase defines the idiom "on paper". (from the book "idioms in use") Sep 4, 2021 at 20:20
  • @user3169 The phrase defines the idiom "on paper". (from the book "idioms in use") Sep 4, 2021 at 20:23
  • Please cite quote the source and include a fuller quote.
    – Eddie Kal
    Sep 5, 2021 at 0:13

2 Answers 2

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"might not turn out to be so"

After you learn more, you might learn that your first understanding was wrong. "According to American movies, all Japanese girls are submissive. But when I married a Japanese girl, it turned out not to be so. Some Japanese girls are stubborn."

"on paper"

The things that you write on paper often miss important information that is hard to explain. To use an example from @Duca 's link, "On paper they are the best team in the National League.". To use a more international example:

On paper, George is the best soccer player in the world.

George has scored a lot of goals. George has made a lot of assists. George can kick harder than all the other players. George runs faster than all the other players. These are all things that can be measured and written on paper. So George looks like a great player "on paper". But every coach finds that when George is on their team, the team loses. Perhaps it is because George insults his fellow players and makes the whole team play badly. Perhaps it is because he never does his job on defense. Perhaps it is because he accidentally trips his own teammates and causes injuries to his own team. On paper, George looks like a great soccer player. But in reality he causes his team to lose.

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"On paper" in your context means that something appears to be one thing, but it has differences that when you take a close look you see they are not equal, "They're equal only on paper".

If this is of any help.

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