one spring and one summer apiece

HolyUnicorn

Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
Hello:



"It is hard to believe that there was only one spring and one summer apiece that year, my fifteenth year. It is hard to believe that I so quickly squandered my youth in the sweet town playground of the sunny city, that wild monkeybardom of my fourth-grade youthhood. However, it was so. " From Sweet Town (Bambara’s first published story)



According to WR, apiece means" for each one".



How do I understand "apiece" here?
 
  • Flooooooooor

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Hi HolyUnicorn,

    That meaning is correct. Typically, apiece comes after a noun or amount X and means that that noun is associated with "each one" of some object or entity Y.

    Here is an example from Google's dictionary:

    We sold 385 prints at $10 apiece.​
    This means that each of the 385 prints that "we" sold cost 10 dollars -- so the total amount of money earned from sales is $3850. (Here, X is 10 dollars, and Y is 1 print.)

    Here is another example:

    The largest stones weigh over fifty tons apiece.​
    This means that each of the largest stones weighs over fifty tons. (Here, X is "over fifty tons", and Y is a stone that counts as one of the largest stones.) I think it is helpful when looking at usage of apiece to figure out what the X and the Y are for that sentence where it appears!

    Here is my interpretation of your sentence. Saying that "there was only one spring and one summer apiece that year" means to me that X is "one spring and one summer", and Y is "a year", meaning that the author describes that that year (just like all years!) "came with" only one spring and one summer associated with it. This is an obvious fact, since of course there is only one spring and one summer in each year! But Bambara remembers this time from her childhood, her fifteenth year, as being so long and playful that to her it almost seems as if that year had come with two or more springs and summers.

    I am curious if others interpret the text differently, but this is how I understand it!
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I agree about the meaning, and don't see that "apiece" adds anything. It could very well be omitted.
     

    HolyUnicorn

    Senior Member
    Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
    Thanks so much, Flooooooooor,Barque and Hildy1. Without your help, I would not have been able to understand the word here.
     
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