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Her class is learning about the environment, and Judy is startled to learn about the destruction of the rainforest and the endangered species in her own back yard—not to mention her own family's crummy recycling habits. So, never one to take things lying down, Judy Moody gets on the case!

In the above paragraph, I can't understand the meaning of the last sentence So, never one to take things lying down, Judy Moody gets on the case! Can you help me understand the sentence?

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closed as general reference by MετάEd, Kris, JLG, Andrew Leach, aedia λ Jun 5 '13 at 17:29

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Can you clarify what you are confused about? This question might be appropriate here, or maybe on English Language Learners, but it is hard to determine without more detail. –  KitFox Apr 6 '13 at 23:35

3 Answers 3

Never one to do x is short for something like "[because she is] never one to do x", which means "she is never such a person as to do x", i.e. "she typically doesn't do x", "it is not like her to do x".

To take things lying down is an expression meaning "to accept without resistance something that you don't want" (lying down = "without making an effort to do something about it").

A case in this sense loosely refers to the way doctors and lawyers have cases, as in "a problem you're trying to solve". To get on a case means "to accept a case", "to handle a case".

So in other (more awkward) words, the sentence means:

So Judy, who always acts when something bad is happening, is going to do something about this situation.

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I don't think your rewording reads any more "awkward" than the original, it's simply not as catchy. –  J.R. Apr 7 '13 at 0:07

So, (being) never one (= a person) to take things lying down, Judy Moody gets on the case!

= So, as she is never one to take things lying down, Judy Moody gets on the case!

I tried to rephrase the subordinating clause which is a participle clause by converting it to an adverbial clause.

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Judy is startled to learn about the destruction (...) Judy's personal reasons for being reluctant to learn about the subject (...) So, never one to take things lying down, Judy Moody gets on the case!

I understand the whole paragraph like this:

Judy does not like the subject (...) she has reasons to dislike it (maybe shame) (...) always being prepared for a challenge is one of her characteristics and because of that, she decides to overcome her reluctance.

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Is the text in your question translated? –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Apr 7 '13 at 9:55
    
If 'Always prepares for challenges' read always prepared for a challenge it would be helpful for one part of the question. The rest of this answer has nothing to do with it at all. –  TimLymington Apr 7 '13 at 10:58
    
I mean that being prepared is a general characteristic of hers. You say the same that in the past tense, as if she were dead. Are you saying what I wrote is grammatically incorrect or that it is stylistically inelegant? –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Apr 7 '13 at 11:22
    
Always prepares for a challenge means 'always makes the necessary preparations before it*, whereas always prepared for it means 'happy to take it on'. That is a nuance that learners can't be expected to know, but "does not like the subject...(maybe shame?)" is simply not in the question, and so wrong in the same way as if you said Judy has blonde hair. –  TimLymington Apr 7 '13 at 12:43
    
Thanks for clarifying. I'll try to write better answers in the future. –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Apr 7 '13 at 14:00

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