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put my foot right in Options
vkhu
Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2018 9:19:26 AM
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Joined: 6/18/2012
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Quote:
‘I think,’ said Hilda, ‘it will be best if she names quite another man as co-respondent and you stay out of it altogether.’

‘But I thought I’d put my foot right in.’

‘I mean in the divorce proceedings.’

The excerpt comes from here: https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/l/lawrence/dh/l41l/chapter18.html

Context: a man (Mellors) is discussing how best to handle the fact that he and an upper class girl (Connie) will elope. Connie's sister (Hilda) is suggesting a solution.

Mellors himself once said he has to keep the affair between him and Connie a secret, because he's also going through the divorce. What Hilda said also match perfectly with what he intend to do: make it so that the 2 of them seem completely unrelated.

Yet here, upon hearing the suggest, Mellors said he was planning on "put my foot right in" (make things worse for them). This is contradict pretty much everything he had said, and also didn't make sense in this context itself. Why would he want to stir things up even more? Am I misunderstanding his answer?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2018 10:14:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
This shows the need for context! You have given enough context here to understand it - well done.

‘But I thought I’d put my foot right in.’ can mean two totally different things.

A plan for the future: "I thought that I would put my foot right in."

OR

A consideration about the past: "I thought I had put my foot right in."

Since the 'plan for the future' makes no sense, it must be his consideration about the past.

He says that he thought that he had (by his past actions) become involved.

Hilda says that he has not actually become involved with the divorce - though he is involved with Connie.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
vkhu
Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2018 10:27:59 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 730
Neurons: 5,714
I completely forgot 'd can also be the shorten form of "had". Looking back at it now, this make perfect sense. Thank you.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2018 11:31:16 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,795
Neurons: 42,273
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
This is one of the reasons I keep stressing that English is NOT expressed in uncontracted forms - that's just text-book language.

It's a good idea if you train yourself to express "I have" as "I've"; "I would have" as "I would've", "I had" as "I'd". etc. it'll become second nature to you, as it is to native speakers. And you won't get confused about what's being said. Plus, when you speak you'll be speaking like a native-speaker - not a text-book speaker.

There is an old-fashioned idea still advanced by some, that contracted forms are slang, or slovenly speech, or unsuitable in any but casual conversation. This was once true - but hasn't been for decades now. The only times it isn't completely acceptable is in some academic writing: but once one's English is at that level - either as a native or ESL speaker - one understands WHEN to use accepted contractions and WHICH contractions to use - even in academic writing. (And if not, your Supervisor will soon set you straight.)



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