A: Please, don't be mad.

B: What did you do?

A: So, you know how I was supposed to take john and tom to get a pet fish.

B: Yes, I swear god, if you bring home anything other than aquatic animal, I am going to shoot you.

I want to know the meaning of the sentence 'you know how I was supposed to take john and tom to get a pet fish.'

Please, tell me the right meaning of the sentence.

  • 4
    Why don't you go ahead and put the context as well? Could be more helpful.
    – Caroffrey
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 10:45
  • 1
    And is it "pat" or "pet"?
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 10:55
  • Sorry, 'pet' is right.
    – 박용현
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 11:29
  • 1
    I think your dialogue is based on this article, which is about this series of texting (with image). -- I wasn't sure the part you didn't understand until I noticed that the way that how is used is not quite as common as I thought. I don't know how to explain it. It's unlike "How did you do it?" "I did it like this..." Its meaning is more like that. Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 12:11
  • 1
    (con't) And you can actually understand it as a that. Actually, a dictionary defines this sense of how precisely as that (sense 4). Another dictionary defines it more explicitly as "5. used for referring to a particular fact that you want to mention", with a similar how in one example: Isn’t it strange how no one ever mentions his name nowadays? Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


You know how...

The speaker is about to say something he/she expects the listener to already know.

...I was supposed to...

Someone, could be the listener, the speaker or someone else, expected the speaker to do something

...take john and tom...

The speaker was expected to accompany two males with these names; 'take' implies that they were not able to go by themselves, perhaps the speaker was providing transportation, or the two males are too young to go by themselves.

...to get a pet fish.

People in various parts of the world keep fish as pets; they (the people) have bowls or tanks of water in which the fish live, and the people take care of them by feeding them and cleaning their bowl. The fish are sold in shops in many countries, perhaps in markets in others, presumably the speaker is accompanying the two men to a place where they can get one.

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