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  1. #1
    shhop319 is offline Newbie
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    Default purpose of 'what'

    Hi,

    "what they lack in experience
    , t
    hey can make Up for in inexperience"

    This sentence seems odd to me. I think "what" here is the conjunction between the two line, but...
    I think two sentence each are not connected with 'what' here. could you help?

    Thanks.


  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: purpose of 'what'

    'What' can contain within the one word the idea of 'the thing(s) that/which'.

  3. #3
    shhop319 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: purpose of 'what'

    Sorry, but still don't understand.

    So...in the sentence, what means the whole of the later sentence?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: purpose of 'what'

    'What' here means 'whatever'. Does that help?

    It's an odd sentence. I don't really follow the logic.

    Consider this:

    'I love playing football, and what I lack in skill, I make up for in enthusiasm'.

    It means I'm not very good at it but I try very hard.

  5. #5
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    Roman55 is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: purpose of 'what'

    I am not a teacher.

    You may have trouble understanding the answer you got in post #2 because the sentence itself is nonsensical.

    It would make more sense to say, "What they lack in experience, they can make up for in skill."

    This means they lack something. The thing they are lacking is compensated for by what comes in the second part of the sentence. So, they are short of experience but this shortage is made up for by their skill.

    The original sentence said they lack experience but hey, don't worry, they have plenty of inexperience to make up for it.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: purpose of 'what'

    I think it is supposed to be a joke.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: purpose of 'what'

    "What they lack in experience, they can make up for in inexperience."

    I might be wrong, but I think the 'what they lack in experience' part was originally after 'for':

    "They can make up for what they lack in experience in inexperience."

    "What they lack in experience, [...] " looks like a dependent/subordinate clause, but it is, in fact, the object of 'for', IMO.

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