If you are a fan of American TV shows, especially about the police and legal sphere, then you have probably often heard the phrase quid pro quo. If you don’t know Latin, then you may wonder what quid pro quo mean and we are ready to reveal the explanation!
Quid pro quo definition and use
What is quid pro quo? Imagine that you are watching a TV series and at some moment the police offer a suspect a reduced sentence or other treats in return for some information or even confession. This is an exact quid pro quo meaning – a situation where someone is doing something in exchange for something (most commonly in the legal, financial and political sphere). Quid pro quo define comes from a Latin phrase and means something for something (literally).
If we talk about several exchanges, we can use plural form – quid pro quos. It is often used to describe the exchange of services, products, favors or any other valuable things. Originally the word combination was used in a medical context when people wanted to substitute one medicine for another one if the required one was missing. Over time the phrase use was expanded and now we define quid pro quo to describe an exchange for all types.
In English, the whole phrase is treated as a noun so you can use and change it as you like. With its help you can modify other nouns as well: the main thing is to use it correctly in the context of trade and exchange. You can also use quid pro quo when you were not expecting something in return: it is widely used by politicians as it was not a quid pro quo.
There are also similar phrases that can be used with the same in mind. For instance, you scratch my back and I will scratch yours should not be translated literally. It is a favor done in exchange for another favor. You may also use the combination favor for favor or tit for tat. The last one is usually used in a negative context when someone hurt you and you hurt them back.