He sold it <with> just 500 miles on the odometer

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Esad Nr

Senior Member
Turkish
By the time he drove it 75 miles home to Dyersburg, Tenn., he decided that it had too much vibration and not enough power. He sold it with just 500 miles on the odometer.

I coudln't understand what '' with'' in last sentence means . Does it mean '' he sold it when it had 500 miles on the odometer'' ?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The very small difference between your phrasing and elroy's is that "He sold it when it had X miles on the odometer" might suggest that he waited until there were X miles on the odometer before selling it.

    When he sold it, there were just X miles on the odometer - when he sold it, it was still very new. It's a different emphasis.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    He sold it with just 500 miles on the odometer.

    The "with" introduces something that accompanied the car, some relevant fact about the sale, some characteristic of the transaction.

    He sold it with a broken headlight.
    He sold it with an extra spare tyre (tire).
    He sold it with a three-month warranty.
    He sold it with a lot of regret.


    (Edited regarding was/were.)
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think "an indicated" is understood, and once you put that in it starts to make more sense.

    He sold it with [an indicated] 500 miles on the odometer.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    @Linkway
    In US English I would definitely say “were,” not “was.”

    The meaning of the sentence is “He sold it in a state of having 500 miles on the odometer.”
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks, you're probably right. I'll edit my post.

    You could also interpret it as: He sold it with the number 500 displayed on the odometer.
    What's the odometer reading? It's 500.
     
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