PLease, explain meanings of all indicated words and phrases?

  1. set in one year coming out of winter into spring - I can not understand the meaning both indicated words and the whole phrase.
  2. got out his cleats
  3. Do Those mean they in the preceding sentences?

Mom calls the doctor:

"It really set in one year coming out of winter into spring when he got out his cleats for spring baseball and he put them on, and they fit. And they never should have fit. Those were from the spring prior."

Healthy Children Not Growing Properly May Lack This https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/healthy-children-not-growing-properly-may-lack-this/4729295.html

  • 1
    The mother quoted in the article means: It really came to my attention. Set in here is not a very good choice of verb. to set in actually means to begin.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


"It" is the idea or notion that the son isn't growing properly.

"set in" here refers to a condition becoming clear and obvious. "set" has an exceptionally wide range of meanings (the OED definition of "set" has 50,000 words, if you include all meanings and examples) but there is a sense of "being solid or fixed". When an idea becomes fixed in your head, you might say that it has "set in". Here the idea that the child was not growing properly "set in". The mother may have thought about the idea, but it was not a set idea until the time mentioned in the next phrase.

The time expression tells us when this happened. "coming out of winter into spring" ie. roughly the month of March, of a year.

Baseball cleats are special shoes with spikes on the soles to grip the ground. You only play baseball during the summer. During winter you put them away in a cupboard, because you don't need them. In spring you get them out of the cupboard. There is no special meaning of "got out"

"Those" refers to the baseball cleats. You would expect a child to grow from one year to the next, and for his shoes to not fit. When the parent found that the shoes still fit after a year the idea that her child was not growing "set in".

  • Exellent explaination but some understatement left about 'Those'. Is it such a rule to use 'Those' in order not to use twice 'they' or another reason?
    – Vitaly
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 5:29
  • Probably no special reason. "They" would be acceptable, or even preferable, in this position.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 21:37

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