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  1. #1
    samareshwar is offline Newbie
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    "as good as it gets"

    What is the precise meaning of the expression (idiom?) "as good as it gets"? Is it permissible to use similar expressions like "as happy as it gets", "as secure as it gets", "as perfect as it gets", etc.? In other words, can "as it gets" be added suitably to adjectives or adverbs as freely as it gets? (Is the last sentence correct?)

    Yours truly
    Samareshwar Mahanty

  2. #2
    mannysan is offline Newbie
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    Wink Re: "as good as it gets"

    I do not know if this answer is "as good as it gets" but that idiom has long been in use and became more popular with the release of the movie of the same name. It would be appropriate and understandable to add almost any adjective to "as it gets" though it is less idiomatic.

    Manny

  3. #3
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: "as good as it gets"

    Good answer, mannysan. Welcome to the forum.

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: "as good as it gets"

    As a footnote:

    "As X as it gets" = "as X as is realistically possible".

    Thus if you write a review of a film, and say "This is as good as it gets", you mean "No film is likely to surpass this one".

    Here's another example, from Google:

    1. Compared with other supercomputers, this is as cheap as it gets.

    In other words, the supercomputer in question is the cheapest available.

    All the best,

    MrP

  5. #5
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Re: "as good as it gets"

    Agreeing with Mr. P, "as good as it gets" means the best, nothing can surpass this. But sometimes this figure of speech is used "in the moment;" that is, not literally, but because someone is feeling particularly happy.

    For example, it is a clear, warm, sunny day, and you don't have to go to work. Instead, you are at the beach, sipping a beer. You lay back in your chair and sigh, "This is as good as it gets." It means that you are feeling exceptionally good at that particular moment.

  6. #6
    samareshwar is offline Newbie
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    Re: "as good as it gets"

    Fine. I got the meaning as well as it gets. But how about "as X as it gets" where X is an adverb? Would it be a correct, acceptable idiomatic expression?

    Yours truly
    Samareshwar

  7. #7
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: "as good as it gets"

    Hello Sam,

    A paraphrase of "This is as X as it gets" would be "This situation/thing is as X as a situation/thing of this kind could be/become".

    In other words, X qualifies "this" and "it", not "gets".

    If you try to insert an adverb for X, it's very difficult to make sense of the result:

    1. This is as cheap as it gets → This thing is as cheap as a thing of this kind is could be.] Fine.

    2. This is as cheaply as it gets → ???

    So I would say that only an adjective can stand for X, in this structure; though another member may well have a counter-example!

    All the best,

    MrP

  8. #8
    samareshwar is offline Newbie
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    Re: "as good as it gets"

    Dear Mr. Pedantic,

    Looks as if I should be careful not to use adverb for X in the expression "as X as it gets". But I want to be sure whether the following use of adverb is unacceptable:-

    "In that shop you can buy your shoe as cheaply as it gets."

    And if acceptable, what does "it" stand for? A pronoun standing for an adverb ("cheaply")!! Perhaps "it" stands for the noun "shoe" and the sentence could become "...... shoes as cheaply as they get." If I am right here, I would conclude that the expression is not idiomatic but merely use of the word "get" in the sense of "reach".

    Yours truly
    Sam

  9. #9
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: "as good as it gets"

    Hello Sam,

    I would say that "as cheaply as it gets" is a non-idiomatic usage in BrE, at least; in the structure "as X as it gets", only an adjective can take the place of X.

    Have a good Tuesday,

    MrP

  10. #10
    samareshwar is offline Newbie
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    Smile Re: "as good as it gets"

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Sam,

    I would say that "as cheaply as it gets" is a non-idiomatic usage in BrE, at least; in the structure "as X as it gets", only an adjective can take the place of X.

    Have a good Tuesday,

    MrP
    Hello MrPedantic,

    Thanks. I use BrE. I take your advice.

    Sam

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