After children were fighting, the teacher said:

"When the chips are down, we are not treating each other like we should be."

I can't understand the meaning of this sentence in context.

Is the phrase 'like we should be' mean 'as usual'?


The phrase 'we are not treating each other like we should be' is the teacher attempting to change the behavior of the children to an idealized 'should be' state; the teacher is trying to get the children to stop or avoid fighting with each other by treating each other better. If the sentence was said in front of other listeners (for example, the rest of the class) the teacher is also trying to teach this lesson to those as well.

The first part of the sentence 'when the chips are down' can be ignored; this phrase is a cliche' and doesn't add anything to the sentence meaning.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.