gettin' this kind of mileage

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Toys get in a pizza car -- Gyoza -- to pursue a bad guy. When they are driving, one of the toys is reading the manual, and mumbles:
-- Oh, I seriously doubt he's gettin' this kind of mileage.
Toy Story 2, animation

How do I understand the phrase? Thanks.
 
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  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The mileage in this context is how many miles the car will go on 1 gallon or litre of fuel. The mileage stated in manuals and adverts will often be higher than is realistically attainable in the real world. It might say, for instance, that this car will give you 60 miles per gallon, whereas the average driver will only get about 50.

    So the character is surprised at the mpg figure quoted, and doubts it's true..
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The mileage in this context is how many miles the car will go on 1 gallon or litre of fuel. The mileage stated in manuals and adverts will often be higher than is realistically attainable in the real world. It might say, for instance, that this car will give you 60 miles per gallon, whereas the average driver will only get about 50.

    So the character is surprised at the mpg figure quoted, and doubts it's true..
    I see, and one question then -- he refers then to the car as "he". Is it idiomatic?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No, the driver of the car is "he." The Pizza Planet truck is old and in poor shape and not driven well (especially by the toys) which could also be reasons for poor mileage.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No, the driver of the car is "he." The Pizza Planet truck is old and in poor shape and not driven well (especially by the toys) which could also be reasons for poor mileage.
    Then I have one more question:) What does the present continuous indicate here? "Is getting". Does the speaker doubt what's going on right know (maybe he doesn't see the speedometer), or does he mean "he is not going to get this mileage in a car like this"?
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The driver of the truck isn't habitually getting the mileage stated in the manual. Or at least the speaker assumes this to be the case.
    Ah, it's about the actual driver of that car, not the toy who is at the well now! How silly of me:D

    But then, indeed, why is it not the present simple, since it's about the "habitual"?...
     

    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    But then, indeed, why is it not the present simple, since it's about the "habitual"?...
    It could be present simple: "He doesn't get this kind of mileage." There is some continuity in a driver's experience with a car's performance, however. People who worry about gas mileage may make a calculation every time they fill the tank. "Let's see what kind of mileage I'm getting now."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It could be present simple: "He doesn't get this kind of mileage." There is some continuity in a driver's experience with a car's performance, however. People who worry about gas mileage may make a calculation every time they fill the tank. "Let's see what kind of mileage I'm getting now."
    I don't understand something:); it sounds like it's about particular separate instances of driving/filling the tank, right?, while in the OP he's talking about the car's performance in general...
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Those mileage figures (in the manual) are usually measured with conservative driving - obeying speed limits, not accelerating quickly etc. Is the car being driven quite fast and/or a bit recklessly? (A bit of context) - when that happens the mileage goes down considerably - that could well be the sense intended now. (Meaning 'He is not driving conservatively")
     
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    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    -- Oh, I seriously doubt he's gettin' this kind of mileage.
    I don't understand how that's about performance in general, rather than mileage performance in particular. The toy who is reading the manual might be picturing the car owner calculating his mileage, and imagining the result.

    I just saw Julian's post. He might know particulars about the movie that I have forgotten. Is the toy who reads the manual talking about the current driver? I guessed that the toys had commandeered a vehicle, and that the owner (not the toy who is driving) must get worse mileage than the manual says is possible.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I do not have particulars. I'm just going by the (meagre) context provided and speculating on possible meanings:) I doubt very much if anyone, let alone a toy, would be able to sepculate on the mileage previous drivers were getting without additional information. Alternatively, the comment may be on the general optimism in such manuals and that people often get less than the "combined city/highway official EPA estimate". I can't tell. I stand by the likely specuialtion that they are driving "inefficiently", with respect to mileage, as they chase the "bad guy".
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you for the answers !
    Yes, they drive quite carelessly, because they are not good at driving and they are in a hurry. But, there's no one single current driver. I mean, one is at the wheel, another is at the pedals, another is watching the road and directs the others, other two operate the levers and knobs. So the "he" would refer to who? That's why it's more likely to refer to the real driver of the car.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thank you for the answers !
    Yes, they drive quite carelessly, because they are not good at driving and they are in a hurry. But, there's no one single current driver. I mean, one is at the wheel, another is at the pedals, another is watching the road and directs the others, other two operate the levers and knobs. So the "he" would refer to who? That's why it's more likely to refer to the real driver of the car.
    At last, some useful context:( With all that additional information, we can firm up the speculation a little that it is
    Alternatively, the comment may be on the general optimism in such manuals and that people often get less than the "combined city/highway official EPA estimate".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    At last, some useful context:( With all that additional information, we can firm up the speculation a little that it is
    That "context" is a single instance of the toys driving a pizza delivery truck after this is said. The speaker is not talking about the journey about to take place.

    The mileage that a vehicle gets (and, by synchedoche, it's owner also gets that mileage) is usually somewhat consistent between tanks of gas as it's an average over several hundred miles of driving with each tankful and then you can think about the average of those averages.

    If you ask someone what sort of mileage they get, they will give you one number (I get 23 miles per gallon), not a number for each time they calculated it (I got 22.5, 23.8, 22.9, ...).
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Nope. The context rules. Both parties to the conversation are aware of the repeated actions needed to detemine the single value for the mileage, as explained by Myridon. Both versions of the question are asking about the present.
     
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    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Maybe at least a small nuance?...
    I think there is a nuance. People use present progressive to talk about what is ongoing and (somehow) to make what is talked about seem a shared experience. "What are you paying for rent?" "What are you reading nowadays?"

    "What kind of mileage are you getting?" is that kind of question. "He's not getting that kind of mileage" acknowledges a kinship that both readers of the manual share in the day-to-day effort to cope with things.

    I was reminded of this exchange on "The Sopranos" about Carmela Soprano's life with her gangster husband:
    Carmela: “my priest said I should stay with him and try and make him a better man.”

    Dr Krakower: “How is that going?”
    It has stuck in my mind, because it made me laugh out loud. It just happens to be a case in point. A psychiatrist is more likely to ask using a progressive tense.
     
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