I cannot find my black shoes so these will have to do.

Does it mean I can accept other color shoes?

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    Yes. Another way to understand it is to say that the speaker will settle for wearing another color, with settle meaning "Accept or agree to (something that one considers to be less than satisfactory)." Oxford dictionary 1.3. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 3:26
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    @nnnnnn I think "these" refers to any pair of shoes which are not the specific shoes the speaker had in mind (black shoes which they own), regardless of ownership or colour. They could be someone else's black shoes, or the speaker's brown shoes.
    – Peter
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 5:18
  • @Peter - You are right that they could be somebody else's black shoes, thanks for the correction. What I had meant was that "these" does refer to some specific pair of shoes, as compared to saying "...so another pair will have to do" which does not refer to a specific other pair. In other words, the speaker has already (perhaps grudgingly) chosen or accepted a replacement pair and that's what he or she is referring to with "these". (I'll delete my previous comment.)
    – nnnnnn
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 6:00
  • @Peter I agree.
    – burcu
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


I cannot find my black shoes

This person tried to find his/or her black shoes, but is unable to find them. Since the person did not qualify these shoes in any other way (my black shoes with the white stripes), it suggests that this person has just one pair of black shoes (or at least one pair that is all black).

so these will have to do.

He/she has at least one pair that is not black--like some red, blue, white shoes, etc--that he or she has ready right now. He/she has given up on trying to look for the black pair, so he/she accepts to wear that pair he/she has now.

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