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I just read a conversation between 2 guys, one person said:

I guess we're back to working together huh?

Can I use this sentence by another way? Like:

I guess we are back to work together"

Why should I use the noun "working" without the verb "work"?

2 Answers 2

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An example scenario: the home office summoned us from our respective positions in different foreign countries, in order to have us work together on a new initiative. We were summoned back home, in order to work together.

We are back, to work together.

Now, for a different example with a different meaning. We were formerly on the same team or in the same department, and we collaborated. Then we were assigned to different projects. Now we find ourselves working on the same project once again, and collaborating:

We are back working together.

Thus, back can mean "returned to a physical place" (the first example) or "once again" (the second example).

When back means once again, it modifies the verb-phrase.

When back means returned to a place, it modifies the subject. That's why in the first example, there is a comma after "back", to show that it is part of the predicate in the main clause, a predicate adjective.

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  • Good answer. However I note that in the question no comma is included after "back". But I agree that the OP's second example would not be an idiomatic way of saying the same thing as the first example.
    – WS2
    Nov 13, 2022 at 20:26
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The verbs in your sentence are

guess
are
I guess we are back...

Other ways to express this are

I guess we are back working together (again).
I guess we're working together (again).
I guess we are going to work together (again).

If you say

I guess we are back to working together.

it implies there was some sort of progression which has been reversed, creating a backward movement "back to".

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  • I am puzzled by your last sentence. Your final example seems to me to be idiomatically another way of saying the same thing that the other three sentences say. I don't understand your point about backward movement. All of the sentences refer to a return to a previous condition - as long as you include "again" in each case.
    – WS2
    Nov 13, 2022 at 20:20

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