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I saw "let me have a bit" somewhere, I don't know what does that mean. So I googled it and got the following.

This is an extract from "The People's Journal by John Saunders - 1848"

I had been many minutes in the house, a young man came in for a pint of beer, and was invited to take a cup of tea. He excused himself on the ground that he had just had tea; but, after considerable importunity, he sat down to the table. He ate his bread and butter as if he would much rather have been without. I was famishing. A bit of bread would have been to me a luxury. No matter, be was pressed to eat against his will, while I was ready to weep with hunger. I begged a little water—the only thing I bad courage to ask for—and went to bed. In the morning I asked the landlady to let me have a bit of bread for my remaining halfpenny, and I started of with the bread in my hands.to walk another forty miles.

What does "let me have a bit" mean?

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  • Which part is confusing to you?
    – Juhasz
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 21:53
  • A bit means a small portion.
    – user105719
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 21:58

1 Answer 1

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"a bit (of something)" means a small amount of something, and "let me have (something)" means for someone to give you something, or allow you to keep something, so:

let me have a bit (of something)

means basically:

give me a small amount (of something)

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  • Thanks for your answer. Does that mean the guy in the story got the bread for free, so that he can keep the "remaining halfpenny".
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 0:24
  • No, since the text says "let me have (something) for (something else)", that "for" means "in exchange for", so the implication is that he gave the remaining halfpenny to her and she gave the bit of bread to him. ("give" doesn't necessarily mean it was given for free)
    – Foogod
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 0:46
  • So, the guy was actually buy the bread, right? Why did the author say it directly instead of such a confusing express.
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 1:26
  • 2
    Well, to be honest, it's not really that confusing an expression for most English speakers, and most books would be very bland and boring if there wasn't some variation and nuance in the way things are phrased. That's part of the beauty of language.
    – Foogod
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 2:13

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