2

I have trouble figuring out the exact meaning of the sentence. I could get that the person says this because he is cross with the girl for making decision without even the courtesy to consult him first.

But I am so so confused by the sentence structure and words order: why use "else" here? why not just say "everything"? why "there is to know" but not "knowing already"? So they lead me to several versions of my own understanding/guess:

  1. You have already known everything about me.
  2. You know everything about me, and there are even things that I don't know about myself, but you know it already. ( you know me better even than I do)
  3. There are things you should and shouldn't know about me, but anyway you know them all.

Here is the sentence:

‘Well, you know everything else there is to know about me. You tell me.’

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

The context is :

The girl took the man on a day out to a see horse racing without telling him first, which later turned out to be a disaster, and the man said the above sentence to the girl after they were back from the race. He then told her that he had never liked horse racing and she should have asked him first.

Could anyone shed light on this please?

1

Firstly, let's tackle the use of the phrase "you know everything there is to know about me" and ignore the word "else" for now.

It would be equally grammatically correct (and not really change the meaning, either), to say "you know everything about me." In this context "there is" is basically synonymous with "that exists."

You know everything [that exists] to know about me.

So, reworded, this means of all the things there are to know about me, you know every single one. This is obviously the same meaning as just saying you know everything about me. It is, however, a slightly more emphatic way of saying it. Generally the more words you use to express the same meaning the more emphatic you'll sound. So "you already know every tiny little thing there is to know about me" sounds even more emphasized (and, in this context, more aggressive, too).

So the other half of your confusion seemed to come from the word "else." "Else" needs to refer to something, and in the specific context of this sentence, ought to refer to the only thing the listener didn't already know (or still doesn't). It's easier to see why it's being used when the thing it's referring to is in the previous sentence.

I'll leave you instructions on how to prepare the side-dish, but you know everything else [about preparing this meal].

Here the "else" is all the meal preparation other than the side-dish.

Do you really not know my favorite color? How is that possible? You know everything else there is to know about me!

Here the "else" is everything about the speaker other their favorite color -- which brings us back to the context you provided.

Without knowing exactly how the conversation went prior to this sentence and only having the vague context it's a little hard to say exactly what the "else" is referring to. It sounds like she may have just asked him a question, such as "Would you like some sugar in your tea?" or perhaps "Why are you upset?" and he responded with this, meaning she already knows all facts about him other than this, and thereby implying she should probably also know whether he takes sugar or why he's upset. There is a little wiggle room here since he's obviously being sarcastic and refusing to come out and say what he actually thinks, so he may even be referring to everything other than the fact that he doesn't like horse racing.

Regardless of the words he picked, what he's actually saying is, "You are acting like you know more about me than you actually do, and I want you to realize that."

  • 1
    This exactly clears my confusion of "there is to" and "else". It's totally my fault for not providing the full context of their conversation. So much gratitude for the specific explanation:) – user86301 Dec 21 '18 at 1:47
0

The text preceding your quotation is needed to answer the question. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to find: Me Before You: A Novel

"Is...is something the matter?" I said when he failed to respond to my third comment about the local news. "You tell me, Clark."
"What?"
"Well, you know everything else there is to know about me. You tell me."

So, else has its normal meaning: in addition, besides.

Clark asks a question. Will responds by saying, you know the answers to all the other questions about me (everything else about me), you should be able to answer this question, as well. Or, in other words, "everything else there is to know about [Will]" includes all information about Will besides the answer to the question, "Is something the matter."

Normally, when we say we know "everything" about a person, we do not mean that we know how they are presently feeling. Thus, Will's use of "everything else" is jocular. It would not be possible for Clark to know literally everything about Will (including how he's presently feeling). He is mocking Clark, who must have, at some previous point, shown Will that she believes she knows everything about him.

  • It's my fault for not providing the full conversation and thanks so much for the trouble of fulling it. With both your answers I get it now!:) – user86301 Dec 21 '18 at 1:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.