And what's that when you take it out of the box?

tesoke

Senior Member
USA
Persian
Hi, during the sentences from “I’m a stranger here myself” by Bill Bryson, I cannot understand the role of "when" in that. Would you please explain it to me? Thanks a lot.

"And what's that when you take it out of the box?" I asked unhappily. "Something you wouldn't like, dear." My wife said.
 
  • tesoke

    Senior Member
    USA
    Persian
    Thank you Keith Bradford! Would you please explain more why "when" has added a humorous expression to exemplify another explanation for such a "when"? Thanks a lot.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    In this case, the idea is something like:

    "When the object is inside the box I can't see it properly, so take it out of the box and then I can identify it."

    But as I said, it need not be taken literally. There may in fact be no material object, no box.
     
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