Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


takes two to tango

it takes two to tango


  • certain actions or activities cannot be performed alone – they  need two people to participate
  • both people involved in a situation are equally responsible for it
  • actions or communication need more than one person


  1. Don’t blame me for the argument. It takes two to tango! You are equally responsible.
  2. We will never reach an agreement unless we sit down for a discussion. It takes two to tango.
  3. The bill will never be passed unless both parties bury their differences and work out a compromise – it takes two to tango.
  4. Its not right to blame only the other woman for his adulterous affair – it takes two to tango.
  5. If you want to play that game, you need a partner who will play with you. It takes two to tango.
  6. I cannot do this all alone, neither can you – it takes two to tango.

The phrase refers to the South American dance tango, which requires two partners to perform. It originated in a 1952 song Takes Two to Tango by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning and gained popularity subsequently as an expression.

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