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  1. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 158

    Talking Little did I know ...

    Hello, teachers!

    I've found the following sentences:

    1. Little did I know this spelled the end of my career.
    2. Little did I expect my father would go fishing in the river with me.

    English-Japanese dictionaries say that the meaning of "Little" above is "Not at all."

    Oxford English Dictionary, however, says the meaning of "Little" above is "only slightly."

    Which is correct? If both, which is more common in the above?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help!


  2. Raymott's Avatar
    VIP Member
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 25,593

    Re: Little did I know ...

    Do you mean that those dictionaries define "little" as such in that specific context?
    It could mean either of those, depending on the context.

    "Little did I expect to be involved in a terrorist attack this morning," implies not at all.
    "Little did I expect that she'd actually say 'yes' to me," implies that you must have had at least some expectation.


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