English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What's the meaning of this sentence?

Not much I can hand to you this very moment.

share|improve this question
Note that it is a colloquial form of "There is not much that I can hand to you at this very moment". – Colin Fine Mar 23 '11 at 14:29
"Not much I can hand to you this moment" definitely implies the transfer of physical objects. I'd expect "Not much I can give you..." (or, let you have) if being asked for information in verbal form only. – FumbleFingers Mar 23 '11 at 17:05
up vote 10 down vote accepted
  • not much = little
  • hand to someone = give to someone
  • this very moment = right now

So, it means “there is little I can give you right now”.

share|improve this answer

A phrase like this might be used by someone who needs to give you bad news but at the same time wants to spare your feelings.

When spoken, it might be said with a sympathetic expression and maybe added emphasis

Not much I can hand to you this moment

...when the truth might be that there is nothing to give you, and there might never be.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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