to bark up the wrong tree meaning?

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What is the meaning of "to bark up the wrong tree" idiom?
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Idiom Scenario 1:


Young Aaron's birthday is coming up soon.  He will turn five years old on his birthday.  Aaron's parents have been keeping Aaron's birthday present as a surprise but Aaron really wants to know what his present will be.  As a result, Aaron is asking his mother all kinds of unusual questions to try to discover what his gift is.  Aaron asks if his mother or father have gone shopping anywhere different.  Aaron asks if his present is larger than a loaf of bread.  He asks if his gift is hidden in the house.  Aaron asks many questions.  Finally, Aaron's mother says ...
"Young man, if you think that I will tell you what your present is, you are very mistaken.  You are barking up the wrong tree!"
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Idiom Definition:


"to bark up the wrong tree"
to completely misunderstand a situation
to make a false assumption about a situation
 
Synonyms
assumption, error, false, miscalculate, miscomprehend, misinterpret, mistake, misunderstand, wrong
 
 

This dog is literally barking up the wrong tree. - - - - ->  a tree at each end of the picture frame.  One tree contains a squirrel holding an acorn the other tree has nothing.  The blank tree has a dog on its hind legs barking at nothing.




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Idiom Scenario 2:


The government has decided that it will make recycling mandatory.  It will give fines for people who do not follow the recycling laws.  The government believes that this new consumer recycling law is the best solution to help the environment.  A group of two hundred people have gathered at the government house to protest this new regulation.  The people say that it is not consumers that can make the biggest impact on saving the environment but that it is big industry that could really make a difference.
The people believe that the government is barking up the wrong tree and that it should target big industry instead.
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Idiom Usage:

This idiom is most often used in its gerund form.
 
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Gerund Form of the Idiom:

Barking up the wrong tree can be a good way to learn what the answer is not.
 
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Idiom Conjugations:

 
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