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13:19 Mar 27, 2007
English to Arabic translations [PRO] Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / Idiom
English term or phrase:trying to say the least
هذا التعبير ورد في خطاب شكر من شخص كان في محنة، وفي الخطاب يشكر من ساعدوه على تخطي هذه المحنة، وهذا هو السياق
Thank you all for your letters of support over the past few weeks which have been trying to say the least.
خالص الشكر للأعزاء
عبد الله علي
وبالطبع شكر خاص لنسرين (لو كان الأمر بيدي لأعطيتك نقطتين إضافيتين)، ووافر الشكر والتحية لأخي الكريم محمد غزال الذي وفقه الله للمساعدة.
i.e. Why would someone write a letter of support and make it try to say the least? Why not say the most? So, to me, the only way this sentence would make sense is with the suggested commas. And I believe Nesrin has covered the grammatical argument.
Dear Ali, I wouldn't have put it better than Nesrin did. The reason I know that it is not that the letters تحاول أن تقول أقل ما يقال is because it doesn't really make sense. And when you force some sense out of it, it gives a negative one...
Hi Nesrin - Can't it be as follows
Your letters of support have been trying to say the least (considering that the writer did not mess punctuation up); in such a case "have been trying" would be present perfect continuous as I said.
...since, as in my note below, "trying" is an adjective which doesn't change, whether you use it to refer to the past or the future, similar to other adjectives like "interesting", eg "2001 was an interesting year".
Hi Ali - "have been trying" is not present perfect continuous, but present perfect, similar to e.g.: "These past holidays have been great" (referring to holidays that just ended. So the tense is correct. The -ing in "trying" doesn't mean it's continuous..
contd to Mohamed.
so the writer should have related "past weeks" to "trying" grammatically and semantically.
I think he meant "past" for weeks and the present perfect continuous "have been trying" for letters.. Why not!
To Mohamed. Sorry for posting here as the response space is limited.
I think if the writer had meant to say " weeks,trying, to say the least", the sentence would have been as follows
letters of support over the past few weeks which were trying