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I really don't understand the usage or the meaning of "he was there for" in this sentence :

Tony shook his head, as though he couldn’t wrap his mind around events he was there for, and partially responsible as well.

I understand the phrase "be there for somebody" means "support" somebody; but is it also ok to say "be there for events"?? or I just misunderstood it?

Here is the context:

Tony, the Iron Man, and the Cap fell out; Bruce tried to convince Tony to contact Cap,as Thanos is coming, they are facing the greatest danger in history.

Here is the sentence in the book:

“It’s not that easy,” Tony sheepishly admitted. Realizing, he looked at Bruce again, a touch of shame entering his usually cocky attitude. “God, we haven’t caught up in a spell, have we?”

“No.” Bruce tried to hide the feeling of betrayal from his voice.

Tony shook his head, as though he couldn’t wrap his mind around events he was there for, and partially responsible as well. “The Avengers broke up. Cap and I fell out hard. We’re not on speaking terms.”

“Tony, listen to me.” Bruce felt like he was now dealing with two kids who had a schoolyard fight. The magnitude of what they faced was beyond a falling-out between teammates. “Thor’s gone,” he stressed. “Thanos is coming. It doesn’t matter who you’re talking to or not.”

The Avengers 3

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In both the figurative and literal sense, "to be there for" means to be present, implying that the presence is directed towards a specific end (i.e. for something).

"I am here fore you" --> My emotional presence is intended to support you "I was there for it" --> My physical presence at the event allowed me to witness it.

To answer your question:

is it also ok to say "be there for events"?

Yes, this is the literal meaning.

  • So, can I paraphrase the sentence as: Tony used to support the events, and he was also partially responsible for these events; now he shook his head, as if he could not understand or acceptant what he had been though. – user86301 Jun 20 at 8:52
  • no, you are mixing literal and figurative meanings of "to be there for <something>" in this case. – Bruce Becker Jun 20 at 8:53
  • but you said it ok to say "be there for events", it really confusing now. – user86301 Jun 20 at 8:57
  • does it simply mean: Tony had experienced the events, and he was also partially responsible for these events; now he shook his head, as if he could not understand or acceptant what he had been though. – user86301 Jun 20 at 8:59

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