For what it's worth

Kolridg

Senior Member
Russian
I know the whole translation of phrase "for what it's worth", but what does "for" mean here - "due to" or "for" like in phrase "I've broght it for you." Thank you.
 
  • Kolridg

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Noted and understood. Thanks.

    But what I still can't understand, in sentence like this, is it used to let know the modesty of nurses' opinion, or of the one's who says this. What do you consider is a summary meaning of the whole sentence (I can't determine exactly somehow)?

    Well, for what it's worth, all the nurses think you did the right thing.

    Added:

    Russian interpretation suggests if rephrase back into English:
    Well, regardless of how things stood, all the nurses consider you acted right.

    Would you interpet the same way? I don't understand why it says about things, while "for what it's worth" touches on mainly opinion. Do you see logic in this interpretation?
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, for what it's worth, all the nurses think you did the right thing.
    =
    Well, I don’t know if this’ll make you feel any better about it, but all the nurses think you did the right thing.
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    But what I still can't understand, in sentence like this, is it used to let know the modesty of nurses' opinion, or of the one's who says this.
    The basic sense is as Glasguensis says. So in general it means 'I offer you this opinion/piece of information and you will determine its worth and respond according to the value you attach to it' ; it may EITHER suggests a modest uncertainty on the part of the speaker about the value of what they're offering OR the speaker's feeling that what they have to say won't be considered by their interlocutor to be of much value (the context, and tone in speech, usually enable you to determine which of these two possibilities is most prominent; lingobingo has already interpreted your quoted sentence.)
     

    Kolridg

    Senior Member
    Russian
    So, I can't rephrase:

    Original: Listen, for what it's worth, they consider you did all right.

    as

    Listen, I don't know whether it will support you or not, regardless of what happened there, they consider you did all right.

    ?

    Your explanations are very good, but the main point I try to understand is if underlined orange part follows on from "for what it's worth" or, in other words, is an extension of the sense that lies in "for what it's worth". I conclude it might be so from this understanding, if you are not certain how valid is piece of information you provide, then you obviously don't know exactly what happened there.

    The thing is, in Russian we don't have direct equivalent of "for what it's worth" so the sentence was interpreted more or less as:

    Listen, I don't know will it support you or not, regardless of what happened there, they consider you did all right.

    Of course, what made me start topic here was that according to all dictionaries, like Oxford and others, there is nothing said literally about "regardless of what happened" and there is no even hint at this. So, I see that in Russian version of the sentence the interpretation is what we call "indirect". Therefore my question is how right is such an indirect interpretation? Do you native English speakers make the same sense of it as of the original sentence?
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is no deep or significant meaning to the phrase “for what it’s worth”. It’s just a sort of personal disclaimer – a way of downplaying whatever you’re about to add to a discussion, in case your remark is seen as inappropriate or inaccurate or unhelpful.
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    he main point I try to understand is if underlined orange part follows on from "for what it's worth" or, in other words, is an extension of the sense that lies in "for what it's worth". I conclude it might be so from this understanding, if you are not certain how valid is piece of information you provide, then you obviously don't know exactly what happened there.
    No, it doesn't, or isn't. I wasn't suggesting uncertainty about the validity of the information/opinion offered , but about its value. If someone is offering information , they believe it is true and are asserting it as fact ; what they are not sure about is whether the person they're offering it to will find it helpful or useful ; and sometimes they may be suggesting that they're doubtful themselves about whether the information is likely to be helpful or useful, but they're offering it just in case.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I agree with what everyone has been saying since the beginning: there is no suggestion that the information may not be true. The only thing in doubt is whether it is useful.

    The orange part of your sentence should be omitted.
     
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