Rika asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

Could you do me a favour? ?

Hi all. I’m from Japanese who is currently living New York and have studied English for 10 years. I’m at a loss right now so could anyone please help me to understand? 

Well the is a sentence in my book described “how little your understanding of the world on the eve of the events of 1914 would have helped you guess was to happen next”

 I thought we barely understand the world on the eve of the events of 1914, and thus it helped to guess what happened next. But translation was opposite. 

Could anyone explain the meanings of this sentence grammatically? My English is far from perfect so I hope this does make sense.  Thanks. 

Update:

*I’m from Japan

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  • 1 month ago
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    You are right, the sentence means that how people understood the world in 1914 did not help them anticipate the events that were to follow.

    You can remove parts of the sentence to help clarify the meaning for you - how little (your something_) would have helped you (do something.) How little your (training in medicine) would have helped you (build an airplane), etc.

    'How little' refers to the 'help' in this case, despite all the other words in the middle. You could also rewrite this sentence to make the meaning clearer.

    Your understanding of the world on the eve of the events of 1914 would have helped very little in guessing what was to happen next.

    I hope this helps.

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