Author Topic: can  (Read 6890 times)

Offline Takashi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
can
« on: January 16, 2015, 05:35:31 pm »
I'd appreciate it if you could tell me the meaning of the following sentence.

"You eat what you can, and what you can't eat, you can. "

Could you tell me if it means "You eat what you can eat, and you preserve in a can (a metal container)  what you can't eat"?

Thank you very much.

Takashi

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4130
  • In the heart of Shropshire
    • Lydbury English Centre Ltd
Re: can
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 06:11:41 pm »
Yes, exactly that.

Welcome to our friendly and helpful community.
Best wishes,

Duncan

Offline Takashi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
Re: can
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 06:17:54 pm »
Thank you very much indeed, Mr Baker!
I really appreciate it.

Could you also tell me if this sentence is a kind of joke or a play on words using two kinds of "can"?
I'd also like to know if this sentence is well known among native speakers of English.

Thank you very much.

Takash

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4130
  • In the heart of Shropshire
    • Lydbury English Centre Ltd
Re: can
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 08:48:27 pm »
Yes it is a play on words; but I don't think it is all that familiar. It doesn't really make sense because the private individual can eat, but the can't put the leftovers in a tin very easily!
Best wishes,

Duncan

Offline Darryl

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Far North Queensland, Australia
Re: can
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2015, 10:42:08 pm »
On first reading this I thought it was missing the last word 'leave'.
"You eat what you can, and what you can't eat, you can leave. "
(I'm thinking this could be spoken to a child who is recovering from illness perhaps.)

Yes, I agree; it is a play on words.
As Duncan said, it's not very practical though. The average person does not have the wherewithall to can food. We do preserve food (especially fruit) but that is done in sealed preserving jars.

And good to see you back on the forum, Takashi.  :)


Offline Bertha

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1233
Re: can
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 11:30:46 pm »
I used to eat at an "all-you-can-eat" barbeque place years ago in South Carolina.  It was served buffet style, too.  A sign, however, warned, "Take all you want. Eat what you take."  No "doggie" bags were allowed.
Bertha

Offline Takashi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
Re: can
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 03:48:35 am »
Thank you very much, Mr Baker, Darryl and  Bertha!
Everything is clear now.
I really appreciate it.

Takashi