Please help me. I'm wondering what this phrase "I see what it is about" mean? And please show me that what context can it usually used in?

And this is the context:

A: You know, ever since college it's been, Marshall and Lilly and me. Now, it's gonna be Marshall and Lilly... and me. They'll get married, start a family. Before long, I'm that weird, middle-aged bachelor their kids call Uncle Ted.

B: I see what this is about.

(Source: How I Met Your Mother, Season 1, episode 1)

  • It means 'I understand your feelings '. Because you have passed through a similar situation before. – Eva Aug 9 '17 at 16:47
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    I see = [now] I understand. In context, this simply means the current conversation (with specific reference to what the other person is saying). Probably what B means is something like I thought we were talking about X, but now I realise that actually you are talking about Y. Usually this construction occurs in contexts where X is the "obvious, explicit" topic of conversation, and Y is some contentious issue the other person would rather talk about (especially if he has some grievance regarding that issue). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 9 '17 at 16:57
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    @Eva - Usually, I understand your feelings implies the speaker empathises with the addressee, but I see what this is [all] about usually implies the speaker thinks the other person has some thinly-concealed "hidden agenda" (normally, some issue where the speaker disagrees with whatever the other person thinks, and/or doesn't think it's a suitable topic of conversation in the present context). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 9 '17 at 17:04

It means "I understand the situation", or more specifically "I understand the causes of this situation".

The phrase "I see" means "I understand" or "I get it". The "this" in "...what this is about" refers to the situation as a whole. "...is about" refers to what the events being referenced are in response to, i.e. the root causes of the situation.

In this case B understands A's worry or distress about the situation of Marshall, Lilly, and A. B understands that the cause of the situation is Marshall and Lilly's getting married and A's worry that A will no longer be as close to Marshall and Lilly. It may also be that B is saying this in response to the "Uncle Ted" bit, which would imply that B understands A's worry about being the "Uncle Ted" type.

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