"I wonder if Cards will ever win a pennant?"

"Not in our lifetime," Bill said.

"Gee, they'd go crazy," Nick said.

"Do you remember when they got going that once before they had the train wreck?"

What does "got going that" mean here? If it's "got that" then it's clear to me, but when I search "got going" the meaning doesn't seem fit here.

2 Answers 2


"Get going that" means nothing. You are actually looking at two separate structures:

  1. The phrasal verb to get going
  2. The phrase that once

Get going, from wiktionary, means

  1. (intransitive or transitive) To begin or commence.
    We'd better get this project going. If we don't get going on it soon, we won't finish in time.

And once is a variant of one time, with that as a determiner.


when they got going that once


the one [specific] time when they started [implied: ...winning a lot of games]

  • 1
    In NZ at least, it's very rare for someone to use "That once" - I don't think I've ever heard or read it before other than sentences along the lines of "Just this once". Much more common is "That one time" or even just "That time" Nov 15, 2021 at 3:43
  • Maybe it still exists in some pockets in the US, but at least in mainstream North American English, "That once" is also an archaic usage. "Just this once" still persists in common usage, though. Nov 15, 2021 at 10:24

'got going' means they 'started promisingly.' 'that once' means 'that time' or 'that one and only time'.


Do you remember that one time before, when Cards started promisingly and then went catastrophically wrong?

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