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... ...

"Pull up a bit of grass, Barry," said Ludo brightly, patting the ground beside him.

"No thank you, Ludo," said (Barry)Crouch, and there was a bite of impatience in his voice. "I've been looking for you everywhere. The Bulgarians are insisting we add another twelve seats to the Top Box." ...

I think in this context Ludo was asking Barry to sit beside him. The phrase "Pull up a bit of grass" is pretty close to "Pull up a chair". But does Ludo mean that Barry literally pulled up a bit of grass and sit beside him? How should we understand it in this context?

  • I think you are right, it just convey's Ludo's offer. He or she offers Barry to sit next to him. – Cardinal Dec 7 '18 at 5:50
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    Just a side note, @Cardinal, but offer when it has an indirect object (e.g. Barry) does not take an infinitive clause complement (to sit). ...offers Barry a seat – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 7 '18 at 11:04
  • As a side note, what edition of Harry Potter are you using? I'm wondering if your edition actually has the person's name as Barry, or it was just a typo here, because the person's name is actually Barty. – Alex Dec 26 '18 at 19:53
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You're exactly right--this is a play on pull up a chair, which is an invitation to sit. There are no chairs in this scenario, so Ludo offers whatever is next to him: the bit of grass.

  • Thanks! So, does Barry have to pull up a bit of grass literally in response to it? – dan Dec 7 '18 at 5:56
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    No, there is no literal pulling of grass. It's a loose metaphor and reads as a very informal invitation to sit, which Crouch refuses. – Katy Dec 7 '18 at 6:01
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    To clarify, to "pull up a chair" means to move (pull) a chair over here ("up" in the same sense as to walk up to someone, not literally upwards). It's usually meant in the sense of "get a chair so that we can sit together". Obviously, the grass does not need to be moved, which is part of why this phrase is humorous. – anaximander Dec 7 '18 at 16:47

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