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    #1

    The POOR man's wife was very sick.

    The poor man's wife was very sick. We did not know how to tell him the bad news.
    What does "poor" mean here?

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    #2

    Re: The POOR man's wife was very sick.

    Having little money or few possessions.

  1. Monticello's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The POOR man's wife was very sick.

    Quote Originally Posted by abdmlkbd View Post
    Having little money or few possessions.
    Hi sitifan,

    Though abdmlkbd is, of course, right concerning a possible meaning of the word poor in the context of the two sentences you've asked about, a common secondary meaning --
    Eliciting or deserving pity; pitiable: couldn't rescue the poor fellow.
    -- also makes sense. In fact, based upon the brief context you've provided, this secondary meaning is more likely here, i.e., "[t]he poor [man]" is not (necessarily) lacking money or possessions, but is instead deserving of pity due to his poor wife's (poor also meaning pitiable here) condition.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The POOR man's wife was very sick.

    And he was all the more to be pitied because he didn't yet know the bad news - so there's a bit of dramatic irony: we know something he doesn't.

    b

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