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  1. #1
    EverLivingPoet is offline Banned
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    Default I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    "I don't half fancy you."

    I heard that sentence on some British show. What does it mean?

  2. #2
    sunsunmoon is offline Member
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    Default Re: I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    not half

    1 : not nearly
    ▪ He's not half the fool you think he is. = He's not half so foolish as you think he is. [=he is much smarter than you think he is]
    ▪ an aging baseball player who is not half the hitter he once was [=he is not nearly as good as a hitter as he once was]

    2 Brit, informal — used to emphasize a statement or description
    ▪ She doesn't half swear! [=she swears a lot]
    ▪ It's not half cold today! [=it is very cold today]
    ▪ “Is it cold out?” “Not half!” [=yes, it is very cold]


    "She doesn't half swear!" means "she swears a lot," so does "I don't half fancy you" mean "I fancy you a lot [I like you a lot]"?

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    Yes, sunsunmoon - in BE "I don't half fancy you" means "I fancy you a lot [I like you a lot]".

    Rover

  4. #4
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    AlexAD is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    I am not a teacher nor a native speaker.

    I agree with sunsunmoon in that there are two options available here.
    I don't understand (really!) why Rover excluding 1 in his answer concerning British accent.

    To give you an example, here is what I heard from a film made by the famous film maker Guy Ritchi with lots of British actors playing:

    'But you've got to hand it to Len because he ain't half a naugty bastard'
    Here, I think, they are speaking about Len isn't as bad as you may think.

    Thanks, Alex.
    Last edited by AlexAD; 04-Jun-2011 at 10:49.

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    'But you've got to hand it to Len because he ain't half a naugty bastard'
    Here, I think, they are speaking about Len isn't as bad as you may think.
    On the contrary. Len is a very naughty bastard indeed.

    On this rare occasion he has done something commendable.

    Think of him as being not half a naughty bastard but a complete one.

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 04-Jun-2011 at 11:42.

  6. #6
    AlexAD's Avatar
    AlexAD is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    I think either is possible. It depends on how one feels about the situation.

  7. #7
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    I think you need to listen to the native British speaker on this, and accept that "not half" means "quite, very much, a lot." It's not "less than half" in this construction.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I DON'T HALF FANCY YOU

    I agree with Rover here- the speaker is very attracted to the person and Len is a real bastard. I too would exclude the first option from both these examples.

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