Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The situation is that one of my friend's roommates took part in a test of narcissism and got a score of 14. My friend wanted to get in a dig at that guy, so he said"Well, knowing you as well as I do, a score of 14 must be near the top of the scale."

My question is, what does"knowing you as well as I do" mean here? I only know that "as well as" means "too", so it's a bit awkward here for me to understand. Many thanks!

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

While "as well as" can mean "in addition to", in this case it just doesn't.

Here, it means "equally well" or "well to the same extent as", just like "as tall as" means equally tall or tall to the same extent.

Here, "I do" means "the way I know you". Just like, "Nobody eats shrimp like I do" means "nobody eats shrimp the way I eat shrimp".

Putting it together, "knowing you as well as I do" means "knowing you well to the same extent that I know you well".

share|improve this answer
    
-1: I disagree this parsing. In OP's usage, well means something more like to a great extent - as in, for example, He's well educated (highly educated), or the vernacular He's well 'ard (very pugnacious). –  FumbleFingers Mar 11 '12 at 22:46
    
I agree. I said "as well as" means "equally well" or "well to the same extent as". That's perfectly consistent with "well" meaning "to a great extent". I make this explicit in the last sentence, saying "knowing you well", which can only mean "to a great extent". –  David Schwartz Mar 11 '12 at 22:48
1  
oic: Well (!), I'm sure you knew what you meant, and looking at your answer again I can't honestly say anything there conflicts with your understanding. But the fact remains I misunderstood it myself, and there's nothing in your text explicitly pointing out that "well" in your final rephrasing has a totally different meaning to the "as well as" = "to the same extent as" definition that the answer mostly consists of, and which I don't think has anything to do with OP's usage. So I'm not downvoting your understanding, just the text of your answer itself. –  FumbleFingers Mar 11 '12 at 22:57

In OP's usage, well means something like to a great extent. The same meaning as, for example, He's well educated (highly educated), or the vernacular He's well 'ard ("hard", very pugnacious).

Effectively, "knowing you as well as I do" means, "knowing you very well (which I do)".

share|improve this answer

I don't understand your assertion that:

"as well as" means "too"

As a native speaker the phrase "knowing you as well as I do" parses quite naturally.

  • "knowing you" -- being familiar with you

  • "as well as" -- to the degree that (with a connotation from well that the degree is large)

  • "I do" -- (self explanatory)

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. What I mean is, e.g., "I know that as well as you do", here "as well as" means "you know that and I know that too". I can understand your explanation. The meaning of this sentence is just like "I'm very familiar with you", right? –  LouA Mar 10 '12 at 8:02

Your Answer

 
discard

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.