pretty good considering

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JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
A novel "Against All Enemies" by Tom Clancy and Peter Telep has these lines:
"How is Ms. Shen doing?"
"Pretty good."
"'Pretty good.' or 'Pretty good considering'?"
Does 'pretty good considering' mean 'pretty good considering the circumstances' or something like that?

Is it common to leave out the object of the preposition 'considering' as here?
 
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Note where the quotes are:
    "'Pretty good.' or 'Pretty good considering'?"

    The question mark is for the whole sentence. To paraphrase:

    -- Did you mean 'pretty good' or did you mean 'pretty good considering' ?

    The rest of the second interior quote is implicit: pretty good considering everything she's been through

    I don't know about everyone else, but I think that phrase is used so often in that circumstance that those first three words should be considered a set phrase. The implicit part gets filled in by the listener based on the circumstances.

    So the question being asked is whether she is doing pretty good in an objective sense or only pretty good relative to what she's been through.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    By which do you mean that it means 'pretty good considering...' instead of 'pretty good considering'?
    Yes, that is the implied meaning. The phrase "pretty good considering" suggests that the first speaker is aware of some reason why Ms Shen might not be 'pretty good'. If he was not there would be no reason to ask the question in the third line of the dialogue.
    I don't know about everyone else, but I think that phrase is used so often in that circumstance that those first three words should be considered a set phrase.
    Yes, I agree.
     
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