Help me to understand these sentences, please.

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Junior Member
Jul 31, 2009
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"Before he can really register this fact, Kingsley Shacklebolt's Patronus, a lynx, arrives at the wedding bearing a horrifying message "The Ministry has fallen. Scrimegour is dead. They are coming." "

This sentence is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (From WikiSummaries: Free Book Summaries)

I wonder, if the phrase "register this fact" is really often used in such a context. I think it is used (I checked it, using Google)and this summary is really wonderful, but unfortunately, I am loss for words. What does this phrase mean?

By the way, I'm not allowed to use the simple present tense when I retell Harry Potter at university, that's why I changed this sentence a little:

Before he could really register this fact, Kingsley Shacklebolt's Patronus, a lynx, had arrived at the wedding bearing a horrifying message that The Ministry had fallen. Scrimegour was dead. They were coming. I hope it is correct.

I doubt if I should change this into that. I remember we are to follow this rule when we change direct speech sentences into reported speech.

I have two more little questions, connected with this summary:

1)He gets to meet all of Ron's family and he gets to see many people he hasn't seen in a while. What do "get to meet" and "get to see" mean in this very context?

What does the phrase "in a while" means in this sentence?

And the last one.

2)"None of them can figure out why Dumbledore would have left them these things"

"would have left" it is the Subjunctive mood:would+perfect infinitive. Am I right?


Nov 24, 2009
Member Type
To register a fact means to absorb the imformation.

For example

If you told me that the house was on fire it might be so shocking that I might not react at once. Once I had understood your meaning (registered the fact) I would run out of the house.

I knew that the cat would try and take my chicken, but when it jumped on to the table I hardly had time to register the fact before it had stolen my food and gone.

Gets to meet, means he gets the opportunity to meet. ie he is given the opportunity to meet Ron's family.

For example
In each case place "the opportunity" after the word get.

This week I will get to finnish my book. I don't often get to read.
I hope they make it in to a film, then we will get to see it on the big screen.

You could also say get the chance, or get the time, or get the option
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