had discussed <getting in> a game

Grace Bhang


This is the quote from "Friends".

< Joey and I had discussed getting in an early morning racquetball game. >

I have two questions.

  1. here 'had discussed' being used because it's the past of the past? The early morning is already past, and the time they discussed is way before it(the early morning) happened, is that what it is?
  2. What's the meaning of 'getting in' here? Is this a phrasal verb? or some usage of the verb 'get' and the preposition?

Thank you.
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The past perfect must have a time reference in the past, and the discussion took place before that time, but there is nothing within this sentence to suggest what the time reference is. It might come from something mentioned before this sentence or it might be something that comes later. In speech, it can be very difficult to tell what the time reference is, since it is inside the mind of the speaker. In writing, you can at least be reasonably confident that the writer will put the time reference down on paper.

    "Get in" = do, within tight time constraints. "Fit in" is used with the same meaning. If they didn't/don't manage to the get the game in (the line does not make it clear whether the game would have been in the past or would be in the future), then the most likely reason would be that one of them couldn't find enough time.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Get in" = do, within tight time constraints.
    Another word used in that same sort of context is "squeeze". You might squeeze in some activity if you have just enough time to complete it but no, or very little, extra time.

    It's 11:30 and a game takes 25 minutes. You have to leave at 12:00. You have just enough time to squeeze/get in (i.e. play) one more game.