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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 559
    #1

    I'll do what little I can

    Dear all,

    I'd like to know the difference in meaning between the sentences in each pair.

    1. I'll do everything I can.
    2. I'll do whatI can.

    1. I gave her all the money I had.
    2. I gave her what money I had.

    I thought #1 and #2 in each pair were the same in meaning. However, I met an American who says "what I can" and "what money I had" implies "what little I can" and "whant little money I had" respectively without the word "little".

    Do you think he's right?

    OP

  1. lauralie2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 774
    #2

    Re: I'll do what little I can

    Yes, I agree, in the sense that "little" means "afford to":


    1. I'll do everything I can.
    2. I'll do what I can / what I can afford to do.

    1. I gave her all the money I had.
    2. I gave her what money I had / what money I could afford to give.

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