I had grown up in Boston in a fairly modern Indian family—including my father, Deepak Chopra. Our life had involved its fair share of Indian tradition, but I had also been given a lot of independence. When I got to New Delhi, there were some noticeable changes, and some were easier to embrace than others. Respect for my elders was part of my upbringing, so I accepted the constant oversight and loving concern of my grandparents even if it felt unnecessary. My grandmother waited for me to come home every night, making it difficult for me to stay out after 10 P.M. I also didn't dare to wear a skirt above my knees, and I was careful about who I invited home—particularly boys. Being a grown adult, I certainly felt like it was taking a step back in time .

What does the speaker mean by saying that? Is that idiom?


2 Answers 2


To take a step back in time would literally imply traveling to the past. However, this phrase is nearly invariably used figuratively: "It felt like taking a step back in time." This implies that some aspect of the situation was similar to something that would have been common in the past.


(take a) step back in time

is an idiomatic expression that combines a simple action (step back) with a qualifier (in time) to get a metaphorical meaning - obviously nobody can really go back in time, only in a figurative sense.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .