I am watching the Netflix drama "Good Witch", and in season 2 episode 5 "out of the past", Sam, a doctor, asks "How did you leave things?" as in the following dialog with Cassie, good witch. What does "leave" exactly mean? Is that "5 NOT CHANGE/MOVE SOMETHING [transitive] to let something remain in a particular state, position, or condition" as in the Longman dictionary?

Cassie : Ryan is back, We had lunch, Um, I meant to tell you.
Sam : But you were hesitant.
Cassie : Ryan brings up a lot of things for me.
Sam : So, how was lunch?
C : Ugh, complicated.
S : How did you leave things?
C : Well, he wants something from me that I just can't give him no matter how much I care about him, so... Not well.
S : mm.
C : Seeing Ryan and talking to him just made me realize that, right now, I am not ready for anything more than friendship.
S : Duly noted.

Unless you watched it and know the story, the context may not be clear.

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    How did you leave things? means What was the situation when you parted? Specifically, in the sense of What did the two parties think they had discussed and agreed to? and/or On what terms did you part company? Effectively, Did you end your interaction and part as friends, satisfied that all matters had been satisfactorily resolved? Jul 21, 2023 at 18:14
  • FumbleFingers, thank you so much for the comment. The hard part for me is the verb 'leave'. It has so many meanings. What does it exactly mean? Is that "5 NOT CHANGE/MOVE SOMETHING [transitive] to let something remain in a particular state, position, or condition" as in the Longman dictionary ldoceonline.com/dictionary/leave ? Thank you. Jul 21, 2023 at 18:29
  • Hi @user1026669 and welcome to ELL! When you post a question, you should describe the effort that you've already made to find the answer on your own, so I copied that information from your comment into the question (where it belongs). Please just keep that in mind in the future. Jul 21, 2023 at 19:22
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    How Anglophones use to leave in such contexts is a slightly non-intuitive idiomatic thing. Essentially the same usage occurs if you're having a disagreement with someone, and you don't seem to be getting anywhere near reaching a common agreement. You might say We'll just have to agree to differ, OR you might say Neither of us is ever going to convince the other to change his mind, so let's just leave it at that (let's just end this conversation here; we can't take things any further). Jul 21, 2023 at 20:14
  • Thank you, MarkinManhattan, for sprucing up my question. I thought about adding my findings to the question, but I was not sure if that is the right meaning or not. Also, please pardon my poor English. I will keep your suggestion in mind next time when I post a question. Thank you. Jul 22, 2023 at 6:25

1 Answer 1


Yes, that definition from Longman is the correct one. When we leave a situation with another person in a certain condition, we sometimes use the preposition "with". Therefore, in order to be a little more specific, Sam could have asked

How [meaning "in what condition"] did you leave things with Ryan?

In this case, "with Ryan" was unnecessary because it was obvious.

  • MarcInManhattan, thank you. I guessed that the 'with Ryan' was omitted at the end, but I was not quite sure what the verb 'leave' could mean, including the subtle nuances. Its meaning does not come right to me because yet I am not quite familiar with all of its menaings. Thank you. Jul 22, 2023 at 6:33

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