"Everything OK?" I ask timidly, immediately realizing what an inane question this is. To his credit, Paul ignores it.

Yes, google does give the meaning of this phrase right away, but i'm not a native English speaker, so could anyone be please kind enough to elaborate it more? that'd be a huge favor for me.

  • 1
    Ok, so what did you find in a "real" dictionary and what is still unclear?
    – Stephie
    Nov 14, 2015 at 18:59
  • Credit: "something that gains or adds to reputation or esteem". Thus, "Paul ignores it, which should be added as a point to his reputation." (which adds to his reputation; which supports his good reputation; which speaks positively of him) Nov 14, 2015 at 19:07
  • 1
    this: deserving ​praise and ​respect dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/to-someone-s-credit
    – Ardis Ell
    Nov 14, 2015 at 19:08
  • Then "To his credit, Paul ignores it" = "Paul ignores it, which is an act worthy of praise and respect" = "Paul ignores it, and this act (of ignoring) deserves praise and respect". Nov 14, 2015 at 19:11
  • But how would ignoring would add a point to his reputation? I'm sorry, my question must be sounding ridiculous but I'm merely trying to grasp the concept of the phrase.
    – Ardis Ell
    Nov 14, 2015 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


"To his credit, Paul ignores it" = "Paul ignores it, which is an act worthy of praise and respect"


In an act worthy of praise and respect, Paul ignores my inane question.

Concerning your question:

But how would ignoring add a point to his reputation?

The author of the text believes that Paul's decision to ignore his inane question was a wise decision. Naturally, this makes this decision "worthy of praise and respect" in the author's eyes.

Concerning your question:

Okay, so here it means that he rather ignored than saying anything that might have offended the other person, right?

It may well be so. Or it may be that answering an inane question would have cost Paul valuable time. It all depends on the context. Maybe they are running from a horde of orcs, or from police, or chasing a horde of orks, or they are part of the police. Who knows why exactly it was wiser not to answer the author's question.


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