Uncle Vernon waited until Piers was safely out of the house before starting on harry. He was so angry he could hardly speak. He managed to say, "Go-Cupboard-stay-no meals," before he collapsed into a chair, and Aunt Petunia had to run and get him a large brandy.

Harry lay in his dark cupboard much later, wishing he had a watch.

This is from Harry potter and I'm confused about 'much later' here beacuse I first thought that just literally means 'a lot' later, so 'many hours later after uncle vernon told Harry to stay in his cupboard...',

but in the trasnlated version of this book(in my language), it's translated like 'Harry was laying in his cupboard 'for a long time', and he wished he had...'.

I know it's not an important question, but I just wanna make it sure,so.. Is it just a mistranslation?

  • 2
    It certainly implies that he had been lying in his cupboard for a long time, but that's not the literal meaning of the words. So it's not a literal translation, but I wouldn't really call it a mistranslation. Jun 29, 2017 at 13:59

2 Answers 2


The use of

much later

in your sentence means "for a long time"

Harry lay in his dark cupboard much later, wishing he had a watch.

the sentence implies

much later Harry (could still be found) lying in his dark cupboard, wishing he had a watch.


Your first intuition is correct. My interpretation would be more than an hour less than six hours (no dinner so late afternoon early evening) and a child of Harry's age probably asleep by 10 pm.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .