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    #1

    had not

    Hi,teachers.
    Here is a sentence:He had not a stone to lay his head on.
    What does it mean?
    1\ He had no stone to lay his head on;
    2\ He didn't have any stone to lay his head on.
    3\ Both 1 and 2 are possible, which depends on the context.
    Thanks in advance.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had not

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    Hi,teachers.
    Here is a sentence:He had not a stone to lay his head on.
    What does it mean?
    1\ He had no stone to lay his head on;
    2\ He didn't have any stone to lay his head on.
    3\ Both 1 and 2 are possible, which depends on the context.
    Thanks in advance.
    It means what it says. Feather-filled pillows are a fairly recent thing. Rich people used to rest their head on a curved piece of wood; poorer people used a suitably curved stone.

    If he had none, then he was very poor. The version in 2 (or with 'a' in place of 'any') is more common today, but all three are possible.

    b

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    #3

    Re: had not

    He had not a stone to lay his head on.
    Does it possibly mean "He had many/ a few stonesto lay his head on."?
    Maybe I should ask the question this way:
    "She has not a book."="She has many books."?
    Last edited by norwolf; 09-Nov-2008 at 21:05.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: had not

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    He had not a stone to lay his head on.
    Does it possibly mean "He had many/ a few stonesto lay his head on."?
    Maybe I should ask the question this way:
    "She has not a book."="She has many books."?
    No it doesn't. Not means not.

    b

  3. engee30's Avatar
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    #5

    Smile Re: had not

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    He had not a stone to lay his head on.
    Does it possibly mean "He had many/ a few stonesto lay his head on."?
    Maybe I should ask the question this way:
    "She has not a book."="She has many books."?
    You norwolf don't seem to know that years ago people used say like this:

    I had not a stone. = I didn't have a stone.

    Even the semi-modal verb have got had its own past form:

    I hadn't got a stone. = I didn't have a stone.

    Nowadays, it's regarded as an archaism, and should be avoided in any kinds of exams, unless you're sitting an exam dealing with archaic language.


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