grateful for <what> little time

Hobbs81

New Member
English - Britain
Let me first start off by saying that I am not looking for any suggestions on how to put the highlighted sentence below in a better way! I am merely wanting to Know if it is grammatically correct to use the word 'what' as it's used in the example below.

"I'm grateful for what little time we've had together."

The reason I ask is that I can't help but find it's usage, in this way, somewhat confusing!
With the sentence ending in a past tense, it surely suggests that the person saying it knows exactly how much time they've had with the other person. Yet what, meaning in this context 'whatever', seems to me to suggest the person saying it doesn't know how much time they've had with the other person!

I hope I'm making sense in all this?!

All help is much appreciated, thank you.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Yet what, meaning in this context 'whatever', seems to me to suggest the person saying it doesn't know how much time they've had with the other person!
    As you said, it means "whatever". To me, it doesn't imply that the speaker doesn't know how much time he spent with the other person. I read it as "We've had a little time together and whatever it was (however little it was), I'm grateful for it".
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think it's fine, Hobbs, but I wouldn't gloss it as "whatever":). As you say, they both know how much time they had together.

    I'm grateful for the little time that we have had together.
    I'm grateful for what little time we have had together.

     

    Hobbs81

    New Member
    English - Britain
    As you said, it means "whatever". To me, it doesn't imply that the speaker doesn't know how much time he spent with the other person. I read it as "We've had a little time together and whatever it was (however little it was), I'm grateful for it".
    Thanks Barque
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top