Germany has drawn lines in the sand BEFORE over the euro

LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
Germany has drawn lines in the sand before over the euro — about the impossibility of a Greek default or the use of the European Central Bank to buy sovereign bonds — and has backtracked when faced with disaster. The New York Times (subscription)

Dear all,

I have trouble understanding the before. To my way of thinking, it is redundant. Could you please explain to me? Thanks.


LQZ
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    At an earlier time - "before" - Germany also drew lines in the sand over the euro. "To draw a line in the sand" means to state the limit you are willing to tolerate. At those earlier times, Germany did not enforce those limits.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    At an earlier time - "before" - Germany also drew lines in the sand over the euro. "To draw a line in the sand" means to state the limit you are willing to tolerate. At those earlier times, Germany did not enforce those limits.
    Thanks, Egmont. :)

    Could you please explain further about the bold part of your sentences. I am still confused. Did you mean at an earlier time, Germany drew lines in the sand but it didn't enforce those limits? Thanks again. :)
     

    Embonpoint

    Senior Member
    English--American
    If it helps in understanding, you can replace "before" with "previously." German has previously drawn lines in the sand. And yes, as Egmont says, backtracked in the second part of your sentence makes clear that it didn't enforce the limits it set.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top