General Writing and Grammar Help/Get in the way

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Question
Dear Ted:

What does " to get in the way" mean?

Would you please give me some examples of how to use this expression/phrase?

By the way, is it a phrase or an expression?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

What does " to get in the way" mean?

It means that someone is bothersome, that the person is not needed for something and whose presence is causing problems for others.

Would you please give me some examples of how to use this expression/phrase?

*** The children were playing in the kitchen, getting in the way of their mother, who was trying to cook dinner.

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.

Too many lazy people just get in the way of the people who actually try to get things done.

By the way, is it a phrase or an expression?

*** It is an expression, but it contains two phrases:  a prepositional phrase [in the way] within an infinitive phrase that begins to "to get."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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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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