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General Writing and Grammar Help/I have you back & He has my back

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Question
Dear Ted:

Do "I have your back" and "He has my back" have the same meaning?

I am asking this because another teacher gave me the following explanation:

"I have your back" means "I will look out for your interests." "He has my back" means "He cares about me and tries
to protect me."

It seems to me that there is a contradiction between the teacher's two definitions in the sense that the first refers to economic/financial interests while the second is about health and protection. Do you agree?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Do "I have your back" and "He has my back" have the same meaning?

I am asking this because another teacher gave me the following explanation:

"I have your back" means "I will look out for your interests." "He has my back" means "He cares about me and tries
to protect me."

It seems to me that there is a contradiction between the teacher's two definitions in the sense that the first refers to economic/financial interests while the second is about health and protection. Do you agree?

*** Yes, I do.  Giving information about finances and health is NOT a part of either of the sentences.  Those explanations go far beyond what is said.

The two sentences mean the same thing:  I will support you, and he will support you.

References to money or protection are in the reader's mind, NOT in the sentences.  I am surprised by the teacher's response.  You did not mark this question "private," so anyone can read my answer.  I just hope the teacher is not an Allexperts volunteer.  I do not want to "start a war."

Ted

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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