is meager to non-existent

< Previous | Next >

nagomi

Senior Member
Korean
"GONYEA: In those comments, Trump singled out Ohio. It's a place he carried easily in 2016, largely by promising to bring manufacturing, cars, steel and coal production roaring back. It's a pitch the president continues to make. This announcement from GM disrupts that narrative. Labor analyst Harley Shaiken of the University of California, Berkeley.

HARLEY SHAIKEN: The rhetoric has been sharp. The delivery has been meager to non-existent."

What's the grammar for "be meager to non-existent"? How should I see it? I couldn't find any part of it being an idiom nor see how "to" is working.

source: Can Trump Stop GM From Shutting Down 4 U.S. Plants?
 
  • much_rice

    Senior Member
    English - American
    The delivery has been on a scale somewhere between meager to non-existent. So at best it's been meager, at worst non-existent. Harley Shaiken is placing it somewhere on that scale.
     

    nagomi

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The delivery has been on a scale somewhere between meager to non-existent. So at best it's been meager, at worst non-existent. Harley Shaiken is placing it somewhere on that scale.
    But "meager" and "non-existent" are adjectives, aren't they? How would it be allowed then?
     

    much_rice

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Is this delivery: awful / very bad / bad / okay / good / very good / great?

    The delivery has been bad to awful. (=The delivery is bad, awful, or somewhere in between.)

    ^^ There's another scale, also with adjectives. In the example in the OP, the adjectives are predicates. "The delivery has been meager" is fine English. So is "the delivery has been non-existent." Shaiken is saying the delivery is meager, non-existent, or somewhere between the two.
     

    nagomi

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Is this delivery: awful / very bad / bad / okay / good / very good / great?

    The delivery has been bad to awful. (=The delivery is bad, awful, or somewhere in between.)

    ^^ There's another scale, also with adjectives. In the example in the OP, the adjectives are predicates. "The delivery has been meager" is fine English. So is "the delivery has been non-existent." Shaiken is saying the delivery is meager, non-existent, or somewhere between the two.
    Thank you, I guess I should see this as the tolerance for idiomatic expressions.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top