What does "in the first place" mean? What is the synonym for this?
"In the first place" means in the beginning; to begin with. It is commonly used towards the end of the sentence and emphasizes that something should have been said or done right away to prevent a negative outcome. Chandler is telling his friends that his parents' divorce is the reason why he began to smoke. He is implying that if his parents' would not have gotten a divorce, he would not have started smoking because he would not have been stressed. The situation he is in currently is causing so much stress that he feels the need to smoke. You can use this phrase in most situations, especially in a situation similar to Chandler's. Ex: If he would have just said something in the first place, we wouldn't have left without him. Ex: They should have studied for the test in the first place.