I don't envy you your job, Detective.

< Previous | Next >

Jian Cho

Banned
Chinese
Hi. This is from the American TV series The Killing, season 1 episode 10.
DETECTIVE: Our suspect was kidnapped and beaten tonight. He's fighting for his life at Seattle General.
COUNCILMAN: I don't envy you your job, Detective.
DETECTIVE: Yeah, I could say the same to you.
What did the councilman mean by that? What does it mean to "envy someone something"?
If he had said "I don't envy your job" or "I don't envy you for your job", I would have had no problem understanding what he meant, but this is different.

Thanks.
 
  • Jian Cho

    Banned
    Chinese
    It's not quite the same meaning.
    It's the person you do not envy, not their job:D
    I'm really confused now.
    So, "I don't envy you your job." means "I don't envy you."? Then why not just stay "I don't envy you."? Why include "your job"? "Your job" HAS TO have a meaning in that sentence.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I'm really confused now.
    So, "I don't envy you your job." means "I don't envy you."? Then why not just stay "I don't envy you."? Why include "your job"? "Your job" HAS TO have a meaning in that sentence.
    Of course it means something :eek: "You have to do that job and I don't envy you in that situation. "

    It's obviously a new structure for you so here's another example.

    I don't begrudge you the question :D

    be•grudge /bɪˈgrʌdʒ/ v., -grudged, -grudg•ing.
    1. [~ + object + object] to envy or resent the good fortune of (someone else): begrudged her friend the scholarship.
    Spare, forgive and allow are other verbs that follow this structure.
    I'll allow you ten minutes per question.
    I can spare you en minutes.
    I can forgive you the error.

    There is some discussion here.
     
    Last edited:

    RickC

    New Member
    English
    Great explanation!
    Another example is from the film The Princess Bride: After the Man in Black defeats the Giant, he says, “I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake, but in the meantime, rest well, and dream of large women.”
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I do not envy you (about a specific aspect of your life and that aspect is) __________.

    your job
    your position
    your dilemma

    In other words, I would hate to have your job, be in your position, have to deal with that dilemma.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top