<at> a whopping 13 pages

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
A teacher in class, after reading a passage from a book: What is Graham Greene trying to communicate with this passage? Why did the children break into Old Misery's house?
A girl says they wanted to rob him.
Teacher: Joanie, if you had actually read the short story, which at a whopping 13 pages would have kept you up all night, you would know that the children find a great deal of money in the mattress, but they burn it.
Donnie Darko, film


How do I understand the preposition "at" here, why is it not "with"?

Thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    which at a whopping 13 pages would have kept you up all night

    How do I understand the preposition "at" here, why is it not "with"?
    I can understand your puzzlement. There is quite a lot of implied grammar here. It is difficult to be precise but my reading is:

    which [being] at [the level of] a whopping 13 pages would have kept you up all night
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I take this at to mean something like 'measuring as it does':

    At 2½ miles, Lundy Island isn't exactly what you'd call long.
    At something over a thousand pages,
    War and Peace is a pretty hefty tome.
    Tom Cruise, at 4' 8¾", is one of the world's most famous midgets.

    EDIT: Cross-parrotedposted;)
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    at a suggests "condition/state/shape."
    with a suggests "instrument."

    at a whopping 13 pages (at a = the "state" of the short story)
    He was hit with a whopping $5,000 fine (with a = instrument)

    Either way, "whopping" suggests "very large."
     

    Archilochus

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yeah, but here it's being used ironically (sarcastically): I mean, there's nothing very large, reading-wise, about 13 pages. Certainly not something to keep someone up all night.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I think one of these meanings of "at" would fit:
    7) PREP You use at to express a rate, frequency, level, or price.
    I drove back down the highway at normal speed...
    Check the oil at regular intervals, and have the car serviced regularly...
    The submarine lies at a depth of 6,000 feet in the Barents Sea.
    ...custom-designed rugs at $16 to $100 a sq ft.

    8) PREP: PREP amount You use at before a number or amount to indicate a measurement.
    Weighing in at eighty tons, the B-19 was easily the largest and most sophisticated warplane in the world.
    ...as unemployment stays pegged at three million.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    8) PREP: PREP amount You use at before a number or amount to indicate a measurement.
    Weighing in at eighty tons, the B-19 was easily the largest and most sophisticated warplane in the world.
    ...as unemployment stays pegged at three million.
    :):thumbsup: Where did you find this definition, Vik?
     
    Exactly right, Vic. This is it:

    //8) PREP: PREP amount You use at before a number or amount to indicate a measurement.

    Weighing in at eighty tons, the B-19 was easily the largest and most sophisticated warplane in the world.//

    Picture an old set of scales with a dial; the needle or hand (like a watch) is 'at' a certain number.

    The sprinter was clocked at 10.05 seconds for 100 meters.
     
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