but the ten-acre lot's cut


Senior Member

Mr. Penn got a letter from a relative, who asked him to come to see horses that he would probably buy. He said to his wife, "I hate to go off jest now, right in the midst of hayin', but the ten-acre lot's cut, an' I guess Rufus an' the others can git along without me three or four days." (from The Revolt of Mother by Mary Freeman (1852-1930), an American writer)

What does the underlined part mean? Does "but" in it mean to contrast what was said before?

Thank you very much.
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The 'ten-acre lot' would be a field of about ten acres in size. I imagine he means that they've cut the grass in it to make hay, so he's free to go with his relative to look at some horses.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I take it to mean: I feel bad about leaving at the moment, but the ten-acre lot/field has already been harvested, so Rufus and the others can manage without my help for the next few days.


    Senior Member
    English English
    The ten-acre lot is a field of 10 acres in size (hectares are usually used in Europe now and I don't know how many hectares 10 acres is).

    Yes, it is in contrast to what he said before. He doesn't want to go because they are in the middle of hay-making, but at least one very large field has been cut already so maybe he could spare the time to go.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, the contrast is between "lots of work to do" and "some or much work already done". When you analyse it, you begin to doubt if it is a genuine contrast; but that is a problem of logic not a problem of grammar!
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