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

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 different 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
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