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Thread: 'Barely' =?

    • Join Date: Aug 2005
    • Posts: 32

    'Barely' =?

    If I say 'I have barely enough to pay the bill?', does it mean one of the following?

    a) I don't have enough to pay
    b) I have the amount of money just exactly enough for the bill. Thus it implies that no more money is left after paying the bill.

    Which one is correct? Or neither one?

    Another similar question:

    I barely have two cookies to share. (Please tell me a or b)

    a) I have two cookies to share (but i feel this is a very little amount, so I use 'barely' to stress this.)
    b) I don't have two cookes to share. (Maybe I have only one.)

    Many thanks! ^___^

  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 59,760

    Re: 'Barely' =?

    I have barely enough- I have enough, but it will be difficult to pay. I have two cookies, but that isn't really enough to want to share them- if I had three or four, fine.

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