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Yuuichi Tam
What's the meaning of "which cost what small store Jack had by him"? The next morning they set forward on their journey together, when, as they were riding out of the town, an old woman called after the prince, saying, 'He has owed me twopence these seven years; pray pay me as well as the rest.' Putting his hand into his pocket, the prince gave the woman all he had left, so that after their day's food, which cost what small store Jack had by him, they were without a penny between them. This is from English fairy tales. I can't understand the meaning of " which cost what small store Jack had by him". Could you teach me?
Oct 21, 2016 7:27 PM
Answers · 6
The "store" means a store of money. "The small store Jack had by him" means "the small amount of money Jack had with him." "What small store of money Jack had by him" means "I don't know the exact number, it cost whatever amount of money Jack had." This is not modern English. It is somewhat old-fashioned English. My guess is that it was written around the late 1700s or early 1800s. Native speakers understand this kind of English, but it is not perfectly easy for us. Checking: using Google I find that it is from a collection edited by Joseph Jacobs and published in 1890... but that he compiled some of them from older printed sources. I guess this is 1890s Victorian English but it sounds a little older to me than that. I think this is difficult English for a beginner and you may want to look for something more modern.
October 21, 2016
"which cost what small store Jack had by him" means "which cost all of Jack's money." It also lets you know that Jack did not have very much money before they bought food.
October 21, 2016
Yuuichi Tam
Language Skills
English, Japanese, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Spanish