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This is from the BBC, which mentions about an escaped kangaroo.

It is kind of a large kangaroo. We got it closed into the pool gated area.

Escaped kangaroo (see:00:06-00:11)

The expression We got it closed .... seems confusing to me. I know that get something done is the causative structure. So, We got it closed... seems as if We caused/helped/arranged for the kangaroo to close... which won't make sense. How can you close a kangaroo?

What does the sentence mean? Isn't this sentence a causative sentence?

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  • 1
    But the speakers are from Florida, the southern US state.
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 9 at 12:45
  • "closed-in" simply means surrounded, caged. that's all. The transliteration is simply a typo. It should read ..we got it closed-in to the pool gated area.
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 17:36
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    Yunus, it is incredibly normal, indeed it is the norm, that transliterations or subtitles have typos. TBH such questions should just be closed IMO. Th ewhole total complete answer here is "into is a typo for in to". (the phrase "closed in" apppears in 100% of dictionaries, it's a normal phrase.)
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 17:42

6 Answers 6

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This would appear to be a typical spoken utterance in which several sentences have been merged and partially garbled.

"Closed {it} in" means trapped. To close {something} in means lock it up inside an area. This has been mixed with the preposition "into" instead of "in", since they have made the kangaroo go into this area. This forms the garbled "closed into"

Overall the meaning is mostly clear. The kangaroo has been trapped (or closed in). But not yet captured

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    I feel it would be clearer to simply point out that the transliteration is simply a typo. It should read ..we got it closed-in to the pool gated area.
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 17:40
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    I don't think that's obviously true. The spoken words can't be a "typo".
    – James K
    Commented Mar 10 at 17:57
  • You're right but (A) I often use "typo" as shorthand for "typo and/or mis-spoken utterance" if I've already annoyingly typed "typo and/or mis-spoken utterance" numerous times this day!!! due to this damn' site. (B) I listened to it, and even looked at the wave, an IMO (for what that's worth) she says "closed in to the pool" by considering the gaps between words in her (American, whatever) patois. Note - it's not nearly close enough that any literate person (you, me, the other 7 literate living people) would transcribe it as "into" which is wrong and closed-in is a normal word.
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 18:09
  • Also just note that the only reason this QA is on the site is because of a "subtitle mess". If it wasn't for the subtitle it would never have been asked. I just personally find "subtitle mess" questions infuriating on many levels, unfortunately. Many people today are just so illiterate, naive, that they think subtitles "are real". I've seen people ask about a subtitle with a spelling mistake "is that how you spell that word now?" Anyway !!!! :O
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 18:13
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    @Fattie I can't parse "closed-in to the pool gated area" formally in any logical way. Try replacing closed-in with trapped or enclosed. Also, listening to the actual audio, I clearly hear "closed into" (actually sounds like "closed inta", but that's simply how some people sometimes pronounce "into"). It's just some random person speaking an unscripted statement in an informal register. It's not a "subtitle mess". It's an "informal spoken English" mess. The speaker misspoke (according to literate English), that's all.
    – David K
    Commented Mar 10 at 18:51
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You are too focused on the meaning of "closed". "closed into" is the full phrase. I'm not sure if it is proper grammar but as a native speaker I had no problem with getting the meaning of it. It may not be the best way to say it but it means the kangaroo was moved into the pool area and locked in there. Most likely via a gate that was closed after the kangaroo had been lured in. It's similar to "close up" where you close up a business by closing doors and locking them. So the combination of "moved into" + "closed up" = "closed into"

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  • Thanks for the answer, However I looked it up but there is no entry for "close into" in dictionaries. It is interesting. Secondly, If they are the ones who closed it in there, why don't they say "We closed it into the pool gated area." instead of "We got it closed into........"?
    – Yunus
    Commented Mar 8 at 23:26
  • "We got it" implies the kangaroo is still currently held in the pool area. If they dropped the "got" then we would be left unsure of kangaroo's present location.
    – DJ.
    Commented Mar 8 at 23:30
  • but why "pool area" - does it mean a kangaroo is in the water now?!
    – Nishi
    Commented Mar 9 at 8:15
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    In British English, we got it closed in means 'we succeeded in chasing it into the gated area and closed the gate'. The pool gated area must be an area round the swimming pool which has a fence round it. Commented Mar 9 at 8:37
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    @Nishi in English a "pool area" is the "overall pool complex", that is to say the literal water, the concrete on the edge, the seats and tables - you see? Like in any anime when the class "goes to the pool" :)
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 17:40
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The speakers are in the southern state of Florida in the US.

closed, the past participle.

It is often the case in colloquial speech that a speaker will create a construction on-the-fly that is syntactically analogous to a construction that uses a synonym of the verb they happen to be using at the moment. For example:

We've got it herded into a fenced area.

There, into is a common and idiomatic preposition to use with the verb herd. The preposition into conveys the sense of "movement in" and thus goes well with "herd".

They herded the cattle into a box canyon.

So the thought behind the wording is "moved into a place where it is trapped and cannot escape".

Here there is a fence, so another word that might come into the speaker's mind is enclosed. But that is a $10 word, a word from a more educated lexile, and this speaker, who says "a kind of a large kangaroo", is clearly not someone who uses $10 words on a regular basis; it is not part of her active vocabulary though it may be part of her working vocabulary, the words she knows but doesn't use much or at all when speaking.

P.S. Speakers "bend" the language into the shape they need at the moment.

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  • @Fattie: Please cite a dictionary that defines a transitive phrasal verb close in with examples of it with a prepositional phrase introduced by to.
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 10 at 18:53
  • It instantly appeared on every dictionary search result and on my 'puter's dictionary, example, "the eagle closed in on its prey" merriam-webster.com/dictionary/…. Regarding your comments about grammatically sound usage, as (everyone) has mentioned and as I ranted about, any recording of a present-era English speaker is complete garbage: random grammar-free vocalizations. Yes, the Folk mangled the use of "closed-in"; yes there's a typo on the AI subtitles. So what? the QA is triply-pointless
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 21:11
  • Re Florida rednecks, good point, they're all hunters with pickups so they'd use "we dun got 'er closed-in" all the time.
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10 at 21:15
  • @Fattie: That's a different meaning, which means "to get close to".
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 10 at 21:33
  • @Fattie: My comment about the person's speech patterns is more objective and nuanced than your caricature would suggest. I'm not disparaging them. But neither was I pussyfooting to make sure nobody would think I was disparaging them.
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 10 at 21:35
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I think that you can get the idea from the context, I see it is not mandatory to come across each phrase and isolate it to find its meaning, I am not a native English speaker and not sure if i get the meaning, but I paraphrased the sentence into " They were able, they managed to catch it because it came into a closed area with pool and has one gate

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This sentence seems to have come out slightly garbled. I believe, if the person wrote it down, it would have been something like, “We were able to enclose the kangaroo, within the pool area.” You might “chase something into” an area, “close in on it,” “enclose it in” a fenced area, or a few other things, and the speaker sounds as if they merged two or more of these. That’s very common in extemporaneous speech.

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get someone in(to) something

  1. Lit. to manage to put someone into a confining area or into clothing. I couldn't get Billy into his boots!
  2. Fig. to manage to get someone enrolled into a school, club, organization, class, etc.; to manage to get someone accepted into something. Somehow, we managed to get Jody into a fine private school. We got her in the group at last! Well, I managed to get myself into the class I wanted. idioms

The meaning of this idiom here has been modified by fast speech:

get [it] [closed] in(to) something =

managed to herd the kangaroo into the pool area is the idea.

In fast speech, there is often a substitution of one word for another. In this case, the in became into.

closed in an area, not into. BUT:
get it into an area

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