What she lacked in smarts Hasina made up for in mischief

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Vikasboo

Member
India hindi
Giti was a tightly wound, bony little girl who wore her hair in twin ponytails held by elastic bands. She was always scowling, and walking with her books pressed to her chest, like a shield. Hasina was twelve, three years older than Laila and Giti, but had failed third grade once and fourth grade twice. What she lacked in smarts Hasina made up for in mischief and a mouth that, Giti said, ran like a sewing machine. <deletion>


<What is the meaning of this line 'What she lacked in smarts Hasina made up for in mischief'>

Quotation shortened and question inserted into the body. Nat, Moderator>
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    sums? I think you mean suns.

    Anyway, there is a fixed saying: What (someone) lacks in (one quality) they make up for in (another quality).
    Usually this is applied to situations in which the two qualities are both good and where they complement each other.
    Here, that expression is used humorously by saying that she lacked "smarts" (cleverness, intelligence, etc.) but that she made up for it by being especially mischievous.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The construction “what someone lacks in A, he/she makes up for in B” is a common idiom. Here it means that although Hasina is not very intelligent (she lacks “smarts” – American expression), that lack is compensated for by her bubbly personality and her “gift of [the] gab”.
     

    Vikasboo

    Member
    India hindi
    Thanks,i get it. But why the writer use smarts it should be smartness.if smarts represent adjective than it should be smart why extra s is there in smart
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    Khaled Hosseini is an American citizen born in Afghanistan; he was educated in the US and lives in the US, so he speaks and writes American English.
     

    Vikasboo

    Member
    India hindi
    Thank
    Smarts is a plural noun - it has no singular. It is an Americanism, which is perhaps why you haven't recognised it.
    Thanku sir. <-----Out-of-scope request removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->
     
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