English In Use – Four by Paw

 A selection of headlines from stories in the news. Newspapers often use English in a way that you might think is intended to confuse but it’s all perfectly clear to the native speaker.


Nissan has released a new 4×4 (four by four) car designed with the dog owner in mind.  The car comes with a dog bed, non-spill food and water bowl, a ramp, and a 360° pull-out shower and dog dryer which delivers a jet of air to the wet fur.

A four by four is a vehicle with four wheel drive, it’s usually written 4×4, but the Mail online couldn’t resist using this opportunity to change ‘four by four’ to ‘four by paw’. Even Nissan couldn’t resist a bit of punning, calling it the ‘pawfect’ car, instead of ‘the perfect car’.   We use the word paw for an animal’s foot, one that has pads and claws.



I am a director of the Learn English Network. A non-profit organisation registered in the UK dedicated to helping people learning English and people who teach English online.

Learn English 2020