I turned into Grand Central from Vanderbilt Avenue, and went down the steps to the first level, where you take trains like the Twentieth Century. Then I walked down another flight to the second level, where the suburban trains leave from, ducked into an arched doorway heading for the subway --- and got lost. That's easy to do. I've been in and out of Grand Central hundreds of times but I'm always bumping into new doorways and stairs and corridors.

This sentence referred to the man or trains?! I don't get the meaning clearly. If it referred to the man why he got lost if that is easy to do?! as mentioned in the bold sentence.

The context is from the short story named "The Third Level" by Jack Finny.

3 Answers 3


As @EllieK said, the sentence means that

  1. I turned into Grand Central from Vanderbilt Avenue,
  2. I went down the steps to the first level,
  3. I walked down another flight to the second level,
  4. I ducked into an arched doorway, and
  5. I got lost.

(Of course the first item on the list means that he entered the station, not that he became the station.)

The speaker does not mean that finding his way is easy to do. On the contrary, he means that getting lost is easy, because there are lots of doorways and stairs and corridors.


The sentence is presented as a list of things happening to the subject, which in this case is "I". "I walked down...., [I] ducked into...., [I] got lost...."

  • Lots of thanks. but here does "that is easy to do" mean that the subway rout is not complicated and nobody get lost there? am I right? May 17, 2018 at 14:24
  • 1
    When you see a standalone sentence with a pronoun as the subject such as, "That is easy to do," the pronoun should refer to the most recently mentioned suitable substitute for the pronoun. In this case "that" = "get lost".
    – EllieK
    May 17, 2018 at 15:47

The paragraph describes the path that the writer took. The highlighted sentence says that he entered a doorway that led to the subway. You understand that a "subway" is an underground train? So he went through a door that led to the subway station, presumably underground. Then he got lost. That is, he must have gotten lost in the subway station, or perhaps he was trying to get to the subway station but made a mistake and ended up somewhere else.

If it's not clear from the larger context, "Grand Central" means "Grand Central Station", a big train station. I'd guess he's talking about Grand Central Station in New York City but maybe there's another such station with the same or similar name somewhere else.

Either way, when he says, "that is easy to do", he means that it is easy to get lost. "I got lost ... that is easy to do". Read the next sentence about "always bumping into new doorways and stairs and corridors". Grand Central Station is a HUGE building, and he's saying that it's easy to get lost in this building because there are so many doorways and stairs and all.

  • “Grand Central“, when it comes to transportation, is very well understood to be New York’s Grand Central terminal. Jul 14, 2019 at 20:22
  • @whiskeychief I grew up near New York city so when I hear "Grand Central" I think of New York City. But I understand there's also a "Grand Central Station" in Chicago, maybe others.
    – Jay
    Jul 14, 2019 at 20:55

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