to go back and forth on the particulars...


Greek Greece
Hi...could someone give me a hand with this?
There 's a phrase I can't quite get "to go back and forth on the particulars..."

Here is the context where I found it:

"...And what they want to do now is live ordinary lives here, to live in peace. Yes peace, and I'm almost sorry to bring it up, but let's get specific, and over lunch we do, and both admit they go back and forth on the particulars..."

Also, a bit more info for you... They people participating in the above text are talking about the Palestinian conflict. The guy writing it is an American reporter (sort of understanding the Palestinians) and "they" are two Isreali women who try to expain their point of view...

Any help is much appreciated,
Thanks in advance,
  • GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    "Peace" is a big-picture concept. What peace means to each of these ladies is not so "big-picture." To one, it might be living in a place free from violence, where she can safely ride the busses or go to market without fear of being bombed. For the other, it might mean a complete truce between her side and the other side, where people from both sides of the conflict can live together in harmony without walls, without finger-pointing, and in a collective place of mutual respect and understanding.

    These "particulars" are the small, nuanced meanings that "peace" means to each woman. They "go back and forth on" means they discuss their differences, or quibble about them.

    Similar phrases are not uncommon in at least AE. They're used mostly during negotiations of some kind.

    I may sign an initial bid or offerto purchase a business, but the deal will not be finalized, nor the contract executed, until we go over/hammer out/go back and forth on the particulars.