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Could you explain what does this phrase mean 'I see where this is going' ? For reference, I heard it in this YouTube clip. The interviewer asks

If it took 8 men 10 hours to build a wall, how long would it take 4 men to build it?

A woman responds

I wanna say 20 but... Logically it's right, but I'm, um, I can, I see where this is going.

  • The expression: "I see where this is going/leading" is a way of saying in the middle of a conversation/project that one can foresee the conclusion. The expression is used frequently when a person raises one subject (eg. the cost of living) with a view to achieving some related objective (eg. a wage rise). It might also be used of a relationship. The expression generally suggests a negative attitude by the speaker to the anticipated conclusion. – Ronald Sole Nov 25 '16 at 17:33
  • @ max : how did you changed the link to "this" – EngFan Nov 26 '16 at 10:46
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I see where this is going roughly means I know what is going to happen. It is used to indicate that you can predict how something will change, where it is headed, or the outcome of something. Of course, your prediction doesn't have to be right.

In the video, the lady is saying that she knows what will happen. However, we can't really know what her prediction is because she doesn't say it out loud. Maybe she predicts that her logical answer ("20") is correct because respondents are expected to answer "5". Maybe she predicts that her logical answer will be wrong because it's a trick. Maybe she realized that the correct answer is "no time at all because it's already built". We can't really say.

As for another example, imagine a superhero and a supervillain. The hero faces a dilemma: save A or save B. A is on one side of the bridge and B is on the other. There is only enough time to save one, according to the the villain. But you might say I see where this is going. The hero will do X, Y, and Z in order to save A and B. In other words, you predict that the hero will be able to save A and B despite what the villain said.

  • "But you might say I see where this is going. The hero will do X, Y, and Z in order to save A and B." Meaning I can predict how things are going to end up? – EngFan Nov 26 '16 at 4:08
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    Yes, exactly! Although the villain says the hero can only save one, you predict that the hero will be able to save both A and B because the hero usually saves everyone. – Em. Nov 26 '16 at 4:37

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