Little did he realize

Discussion in 'English Only' started by moura, May 23, 2006.

  1. moura

    moura Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portuguese Portugal
    Hi,

    Could you help me pls with the meaning of "little" (shortly after? or hardly?) in the following sentence:

    "Unaccustomed to this kind of sequence, the ruler granted this trivial request. Little did he realize that the rice begins to be measured in cups by square fourteen, sacks by square twenty...".

    Thanks
     
  2. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Literally, it means "he only realized a little bit." In practice, it means he did not know.
     
  3. moura

    moura Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portuguese Portugal
    Thanks Kelly B.
    So, the best way to translate the sentence should be: "he hardly knew that..." and not "shortly after he realized that..."?
     
  4. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    It's an example of "Anglo-Saxon irony" at work. Kelly is right, it means he didn't know.
    .
     
  5. moura

    moura Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portuguese Portugal
    Ok :), thank you both.
    Regards
     

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