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Thread: get behind?

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    #1

    get behind?

    "And I like that someone is working on news stories."
    "Well, for what is worth, I could really get behind a government that was in a cahoots conspiracy to shove your breasts in your face."

    Hi,

    Someone said that in this sentence get behind means "support" which I can't agree because there is no meaning of support in the dictionary for get behind. Was he right?

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    #2

    Re: get behind?

    "Support" or "endorse" is exactly what it means.

    (not a teacher, just a language lover)

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    #3

    past tense.

    "And I like that someone is working on news stories."
    "Well, for what is worth, I could really get behind a government that was in a cahoots conspiracy to shove your breasts in your face."


    Hi,

    Why is there "was", which is a past tense there? Is it a kind of the subjunctive mood? Then Shouldn't be "were"?

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    #4

    Re: get behind?

    Doesn't it mean "to be late or behind schedule" ?

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    #5

    Re: get behind?

    The rest of the sentence is questionable though. The only meaning of "cahoots" I'm aware of (in modern AE usage) is in the phrase "in cahoots with," meaning association with something. And it usually implies that the person or action that you're "in cahoots with" is somebody/something bad or not reputable.


    (not a teacher, just a language lover)

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    #6

    Re: get behind?

    Yes, in a different context, it means to be behind schedule.

    "I can't go out tonight, I've gotten (or more commonly, I am) a little behind in my work." (behind schedule)
    "I'm going to be a bit late to work today, I'm running a little behind." (running late)
    "I can get behind his decision to run for mayor." (I support his decision)

    (not a teacher, just a language lover)
    Last edited by FreeToyInside; 27-Jul-2013 at 01:52. Reason: correction

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    #7

    Re: past tense.

    Quote Originally Posted by layla0302 View Post
    "And I like that someone is working on news stories."
    "Well, for what is worth, I could really get behind a government that was in a cahoots conspiracy to shove your breasts in your face."


    Hi,

    Why is there "was", which is a past tense there? Is it a kind of the subjunctive mood? Then Shouldn't be "were"?
    No, it is past tense.

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    #8

    Re: past tense.

    Quote Originally Posted by layla0302 View Post
    "And I like that someone is working on news stories."
    "Well, for what is worth, I could really get behind a government that was in a cahoots conspiracy to shove your breasts in your face."


    Hi,

    Why is there it "was", which is a past tense there? Is it a kind of the subjunctive mood? Then shouldn't it be "were"?
    I expect the teachers on the forum will have more to say about this than I do, and probably even corrections of my understanding of the usage.

    One function of "could" is to describe hypothetical possibilities. It's like a combination of "can" + "would." Using the structure in the sentence you gave, the verb following "that" or "which" or "who" should be in the past tense.

    "I could support a plan that had education as a priority."
    "You could choose a cell phone plan that included internet."
    "I could do a project that didn't require too much effort."
    "I couldn't keep a dog that needed so much attention."

    Hope this helps!

    (not a teacher, just a language lover)

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    #9

    Re: past tense.

    I know this isn't your question, but you are not in a "cahoots conspiracy" - you are in cahoots with someone, you are part of a conspiracy, but don't try to combine them.

    I'm not even going to TRY to guess what you mean by "shove your breasts in your face." It's irrelevant.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: past tense.

    No, this is a common use of the past indicative (not subjunctive) in a subordinate clause dependent on a conditional/potential mood form (typically 'would' or some equivalent form), essentially indicating that the hypothetical sense of the main clause is carried over to the subordinate.

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