General Writing and Grammar Help/RE: Get in the way

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Question
Dear Ted:

In your answer, you gave the following example:

A:  I don't know anything about repairing cars, but I'd be glad to help you.
B:  That's all right.  You would probably just get in the way.

My question is this:

Does "get in the way" have a positive connotation in the above example? In other words, is it correct to say that B can be of help to A?

Thank you,

Paolo

P.S. Ted, are the above questions correctly formulated?

Answer
Dear Paolo:

In your answer, you gave the following example:

A:  I don't know anything about repairing cars, but I'd be glad to help you.
B:  That's all right.  You would probably just get in the way.

My question is this:

Does "get in the way" have a positive connotation in the above example? In other
words, is it correct to say that B can be of help to A?

**** No.  "Get in the way" is NEGATIVE.  The person would not be helpful.  He would be a hindrance.  If someone is getting in your way, you want that person to leave.

Thank you,

Paolo

P.S. Ted, are the above questions correctly formulated?

*** YES

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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