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    #1

    little to eat

    a-With little to eat, she started to work.

    b-With little to eat since the night before, she started to work.


    I would say that in (a) there is little food available and in (b) she has had little food. (b)unambiguously refers to the past while (a) unambiguously refers to the future. There is no way "with little to verb" could refer to the past without a time clause.

    Is that analysis correct?

    Many Thanks.
    Last edited by azz; 22-May-2014 at 13:25.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: little to eat

    a) is in the past tense. It refers to the past - ie. to the time she started to work. The implication is that she will have had little to eat after she started working, but that's still in the past.
    In "With little to eat, she starts to work", this refers to the present. Again, the implication is that she will have little to eat in the future (all other things being equal, which they might not necessarily be). But you can't even say that sentence refers to the future. It refers only to the present. "She has little to eat" is present tense. She might die without food, but that is a supposition. The sentence itself is not a reference to the future.

    2) No, "with little to eat" doesn't refer to any time period by itself.

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    #3

    Re: little to eat

    A more natural way to join the parts for me would be to use Although she'd had little to eat, she started....

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