when the going gets tough


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when the going gets tough

 and if the going gets tough; when the going gets rough; if the going gets rough
as things get extremely difficult; when it becomes difficult to proceed. When the going gets tough, I will be there to help you. If the going gets tough, just give me a call.
See also: get, going, tough

when the going gets tough

also when the going gets rough
when a situation becomes difficult or unpleasant I run the farm on my own, but a local boy helps me out when the going gets tough.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form if the going gets tough and sometimes followed by the tough get going or, for a humorous effect, the tough go shopping: When Anna gets upset, she goes out and buys something - you know, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.
See also: get, going, tough
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