if it hadn't been for (someone or something)

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if it hadn't been for (someone or something)

If someone or something hadn't helped, intervened, or affected the situation in some way. The phrase is always followed by an explanation of how things would have turned out differently without someone or something. If it hadn't been for those quick-thinking bystanders, I wouldn't be alive today. If it hadn't been for those meddling kids, we would have gotten away with it.
See also: been, if
References in periodicals archive ?
If it hadn't been for my companion, I would have walked past it even though it was only a few steps away.
Cliff: The focus of my writing would have been different if it hadn't been for contact with feminist writings, particularly with the idea of foregrounding women's lives.
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