I was watching tv, and a guy was talking about outer space and said this sentence.

What does it mean when you say 'What I wouldn't give to...?'


It's a less dramatic version of the doubtless hyperbolic

"I'd give my right arm [/hand] to be there."

(See, for example, Cambridge Dictionary)

The implication is that you'd give up many of your prized possessions / comforts in return for being there (etc).

"What [is there that] I wouldn't give [up] to be able to ...?" [implication: the list of what I wouldn't give up in exchange is small]


CED actually gives the expression:

what I wouldn't give for something (also what wouldn't I give for something)

used to say that you want something very much:

What I wouldn't give for a cold drink!

  • Thank you very much. Very informative and helpful. – jakesamz Dec 21 '19 at 16:09

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