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I'm looking for an expression that would connote the state of being in-between.

I have found one sentence which uses the "one foot in, one foot out" metaphore - does it sound naturally to a native English speaker?

a) For Sweden, which has only one foot in the European Union but is still outside the Euro Zone, the advantages and disadvantages are clearer now than ever before, even, I hope, to Mr Lundgren.

Would something like this be understood by a native speaker when I'd describe it straddling. For instance, could I say:

b) I straddle between the world of science and philosophy.

Or is there perhaps another idiom that could express this sentiment?

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    As a native English speaker, "one foot in" as a metaphor sounds natural to me. Here are some examples of "straddle" used naturally, to "straddle an issue" would be to take both sides. You wouldn't use the word "between" after "straddle" because you can't really "straddle" two things, but you can straddle the border between two things.
    – Esther
    Mar 31, 2022 at 15:05

1 Answer 1

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The phrase "one foot in, one foot out" is a common metaphor, perhaps an idiom. It should easily be understood by any fluent speaker.

To "straddle" originally meant to have one leg on one side of a fence, or a horse, and the other leg on the other side, so one does not say "straddle between". One could rewrite this as:

I straddle the border between the worlds of science and philosophy.

Other possibilities might be:

  • I seem to be halfway between the worlds of science and philosophy.
  • I find myself halfway between the worlds of science and philosophy.
  • I feel halfway between the worlds of science and philosophy.
  • I am split between the worlds of science and philosophy.
  • I feel divided between the worlds of science and philosophy.

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