All things considered I reckon they got off lightly

dhchong

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, guys.
This is from <The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success by Dr Kevin Dutton and Andy McNab.>
Ten years later, I was teaching in Cambridge where all those years ago I should’ve been a student.
All things considered I reckon they got off lightly.
I understand all the words in the red colored line. But still I have some difficulty in understanding the structure of the line. What is the verb and objective in this line?
 
  • Greyfriar

    Senior Member
    There are two verbs - I 'reckon' and 'got off'.

    The character was teaching at Cambridge. If he was a psychopath then he thinks that Cambridge 'got off lightly' by not accepting him as a student.


    More context would be helpful here.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    The subject is "I". The verb is "reckon". "they got off lightly" is not an object, but is instead a complement for "believe". It describes what the speaker's belief is.
     

    dhchong

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Ah, so the phrase can be re-written as 'By considering all things I reckon that they got off me lightly', can't it?
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Absolutly not.

    There is no suggestion whatsoever that they are on top of you, so they cannot get off of you!

    To "get off lightly" means "to be subject to a consequence, or to receive a punishment, that is less unpleasant or harsh than it properly might have been."

    Also, "All things considered" means "After everything has been considered", and not "by considering all things."
     
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    dhchong

    Senior Member
    Korean
    So the author thinks that his being teacher at Cambridge is a light punishment for rejection of his application as he is a psychopath?
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    No. The teacher is saying that Cambridge got off lightly. Cambridge now has the benefit of having him as a teacher without first having had to suffer the "punishment" of having him as a student ten years ago.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    The author reckons they had got off lightly if they accepted him as a student?
    No, just the opposite. Cambridge "got off lightly" precisely because he was not a student there. He is making a joke, and is saying that no school would have enjoyed having him as a student.
     
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