It works both ways

Hiden

Senior Member
japanese
I’m struggling to understand a phrase in the following dialogue. What does “it works both ways” mean? Does it mean a symbiotic relationship, like the Rhino and the Tick-Bird?

Peter: Rita, did I hear you say that you've been here almost a year?
Rita: Mmhmm (affirmative)
Peter: I can't believe it's been that long.
Rita: Seems longer to you too, huh?
Peter: Well, I've got to tell you it's really nice having you here. I mean it's nice having somebody else on myside. If you know what I mean.
Rita: Well, thanks, Pete, but it works both ways. I mean everybody needs somebody to talk to. (Scenario in Spider-Man: Strikes Back)
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Does it mean a symbiotic relationship, like the Rhino and the Tick-Bird?
    Symbiotic is probably saying too much, Hiden, but Rita is apparently telling Peter that it is or would be nice to have somebody on her side. It works both ways is definitely a reference to the idea of reciprocity or mutual benefit in their friendship.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Symbiotic is probably saying too much, Hiden, but Rita is apparently telling Peter that it is or would be nice to have somebody on her side. It works both ways is definitely a reference to the idea of reciprocity or mutual benefit in their friendship.
    I seem to understand the meaning. Thank you as always.
     

    heish

    New Member
    Chinese
    In this context, it means "me, too","it is the same with me", "so it is with me".
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Can I use the phrase in this way?

    Hide: Thank you for always answering my questions about English grammar.
    Kevin: I enjoy answering. It works both ways.
     
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    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    No. It's not at all clear what that means.
    Thanks. I have something I'd like to confirm. Can't it be used to imply “I benefit from your questions”, like "You get answers, I get pleasure"?

    "It works" means "it functions or benefits". "Both ways" means "from me to you, and from you to me". Thus, I think that "it works both ways" could be defined as "it is mutually beneficial." Correct me if I am wrong.
     
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