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General Writing and Grammar Help/Get back at someone - get even with someone

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to get even with someone" and "to get back at someone"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to get even with someone" and "to get back at someone"?

*** NO, they are interchangeable.  The important words "even" and "back" are synonyms in this kind of usage.

EXAMPLES:

For destroying his shoes, John intends to get EVEN WITH Jim. = For destroying his shoes, John intends to get BACK AT Jim.

Mary got even with Jane.  Jane got back at Mary.  The two then became close friends.

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.

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

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