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Re: Amount(s) to nothing

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 05, 2007

In Reply to: Re: Amount(s) to nothing posted by Smokey Stover on June 04, 2007

: : Is 'amount(s) to nothing' categorized as idiom/sayings/English phrase? If so, what does it mean?

: Amount is an ordinary English verb, always (or almost always) used with the preposition "to," and means: is equivalent to, adds up to, reaches the total of. If you make several purchases in a store with an old-fashioned proprietor, he may say, "That amounts to $35.74 total." Or, even with a single purchase, "With tax that amounts to $35.74." Or, to make up another example, Timmy to Aunt Bess: "Aunt Bess, when I grow up I want to amount to something, like Uncle Bill." "Shush, Timmy, your Uncle Bill don't amount to nothin' much. If you want to amount to anything, get a job as soon as you're old enough." Or, different situation, "All those arguments of yours are beside the point. They amount to nothing."

: I would not consider any of these as an idiom or as a saying.

Perhaps you remember in Casablanca, where Rick says: "...What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid."
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