[Essay] You knew where you were with him

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Quang Hai

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Feb 3, 2013
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I could not understand the phrase:
'When Milton was younger he’d been afraid of his father, although he’d since realized that you knew where you were with him, which came from the experience of working with him in the fields and the orchards'.

It means he know from what position his father is thinking or he knows what are common points between himself and his father.
Please explain. thanks!
 

Raymott

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I could not understand the phrase:
'When Milton was younger he’d been afraid of his father, although he’d since realized that you knew where you were with him, which came from the experience of working with him in the fields and the orchards'.

It means he know from what position his father is thinking or he knows what are common points between himself and his father.
Please explain. thanks!
You first guess is closer. You knew what he was thinking about you, how much you could get away with, how he would react to whatever you did, etc.
The opposite would be, "I never know where I am with my girlfriend. We sat down to enjoy a TV movie, I thought; but all she did was complain about how I'd been ignoring her lately."
 
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