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Jack: Oh, yes, principal Trugly is horrible. I got detention for a week just for skipping homeroom. No one can stand her. They call her Ugly Trugly

Jack's mom: That is awful! - We used to call her the same thing! Well, not your father! She loved your dad! He was such a suck-up! If he didn't have that Mustang, I would have never ... um mm ... driven home with him in that Mustang.

-- TV Series: Alexa and Katie

1) I assume that Jack's mother might have wanted to say

If he didn't have that Mustang, I would have never ... gotten married with him.

Am I right?

2) Shouldn't it be

If he hadn't had that Mustang, I would have never...driven home with him in that Mustang.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1

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First of all, I assume you mean "driven home with him", not "driven home with home"?

If someone in American culture starts saying something, gets embarrassed, and then changes it to something else, you can almost always assume that the original intended message had to do with sex. If she had intended "gotten married" she would have simply said "gotten married", there's nothing embarrassing about that. On the other hand, explaining to your child that you had pre-marital sex with someone in the backseat of a car would be extremely embarrassing. So the originally intended sentence would have been,

If he didn't have that Mustang, I would have never had sex with him (in the backseat of the car).

For one, there is a taboo against talking about sex, at all, from a parent to a child, or vice versa, except during "the birds and the bees talk", which is typically held to be extremely embarrassing for both the parent and the child. But it would also be considered "setting a bad example", so a parent wouldn't want to admit to having sex with someone just because they had a cool car.

As for your second question, regarding "didn't" vs "hadn't": yes, "hadn't" would be more correct, and "didn't" is in error. When speaking, people often make small grammatical mistakes like this. It usually does not impede understanding.

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  • wow! Thank you so much! I thought mom wanted to show her children that the reason for getting married with their dad wasn't his machine or other material things. LOL :)) Could you please answer my second question?
    – sami
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 7:36
  • 1
    My apologies, I've edited in the answer to your second question now. Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 7:40
  • Thank you teacher @Richard Winters. It was extremely helpful. I really enjoy learning English as a second language here. I really appreciate your help and time!
    – sami
    Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 16:27

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