He was <a great deal> at the pits


Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 314, chapter 15) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie's sister Hilder told Connie that their father was going to London, and she would pick Connie up. And she asked Connie to be ready for it. But Clifford hated her going ……)

Clifford hated her going, but it was only because he didn’t feel safe in her absence. Her presence, for some reason, made him feel safe, and free to do the things he was occupied with. He was a great deal at the pits, and wrestling in spirit with the almost hopeless problems of getting out his coal in the most economical fashion and then selling it when he’d got it out. He knew he ought to find some way of using it, or converting it, so that he needn’t sell it, or needn’t have the chagrin of failing to sell it.

I understand a great deal here means mainly or to a large degree. Is that right please?
Thank you in advance

  • I agree.

    "He was a great deal at the pits." = He spent a lot of time at the pits/Very frequently he was to be found there.

    It does not tell us that he was mainly at the pits as opposed to being at the opera.:)

    It's not speaking at all to the proportion of his total time given to one activity in relation to another.
    < Previous | Next >