It's gonna be a riot if they pull it off.

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
1969. Two cops are standing in the hall at the precinct, where other cops are watching the Worls Series on TV.
— Yeah, half the uniforms are either at the game or on the street. It's gonna be a riot if they pull it off.
Frequency, film

How would you understand this sentence:confused:...

Thank you.
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You haven't given us the referents for the word "It" or "they". Therefore we don't know what is going to be a riot or who the unknown people are who are trying to pull it off.
     
    Last edited:

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    What part of the sentence is confusing you, VicNicSor? We can help you better if we can focus on the part you don't understand.

    Here are some threads that may be helpful:

    in trying to pull it off
    pull it off
    Who are "they" and how the boldfaced sentence is connected to the previous one — is what I don't understand...
    You haven't given us the referent for the word "It". Therefore we don't know what is going to be a riot or what they are trying to pull off.
    It is just a remark we are shown with no other sentences around it, otherwise I'd have provided more context.
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    Here's my guess.

    It (=the general situation) is going to be a riot (=here, unrestrained revelry) if they pull it off (=if one of the teams wins, despite strong opposition).

    If a hometown team won the Series, it would be typical that crowds would celebrate in the streets, and police officers would be present to maintain order.

    But if the film doesn't provide more context, then any answer is going to be tentative.:)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Here's my guess.

    It (=the general situation) is going to be a riot (=here, unrestrained revelry) if they pull it off (=if one of the teams wins, despite strong opposition).

    If a hometown team won the Series, it would be typical that crowds would celebrate in the streets, and police officers would be present to maintain order.

    But if the film doesn't provide more context, then any answer is going to be tentative.:)
    And does it mean that those "uniforms" that are "on the street" have been sent there to deal with a possible "riot"?:)
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Having read the answer by Minnesota Guy, I see it as follows:

    1. If the home team win there will be a riot (certainly involving celebration but possibly including property damage or even violence between supporters).

    2. Half of the police are at the match - either as supporters or on duty.

    3. Half the police are on the streets to prevent damage to property and/or violence.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    1969. Two cops are standing in the hall at the precinct, where other cops are watching the Worls Series on TV.
    — Yeah, half the uniforms are either at the game or on the street. It's gonna be a riot if they pull it off.
    Frequency, film
    This is part of a movie. Any context is in the movie plot. The 1969 World Series (up to 7 games: winning 4 games wins) was played in Baltimore and New York. The series was won by the New York Mets in game 5, played in New York. The Mets were expected to lose, so winning the series was "an upset" -- a surprising and exciting event.

    The first sentence says 1/2 the policemen are either on duty (on the street) or at the game. So 1/2 the policemen are off-duty at home. I am not sure what that sentence has to do with the other sentence. But the first sentence starts with "Yeah, " which means "Yes, ". So it is a reply to something.

    I agree that "if they pull it off" probably means "if the Mets somehow win". But the cop does not say There's gonna be a riot. He says It's gonna be a riot which can mean "That would be hilarious" in 1969 AE speech (in the New York region).

    So he could mean either thing:
    - I will laugh hard if we win. What fools the "experts" were!
    - The stadium crowd will riot if we win.
     
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