as much as somebody can/could do to do something

(redirected from as much as somebody could do to do something)

as much as (one) could do (not) (to do something)

This phrase is used when one struggles to do something. It can include "not" when one is trying to avoid doing something. It was as much as I could do to keep from crying when the teacher yelled at me in front of the whole class. It was as much as I could do not to cry when the teacher yelled at me in front of the whole class.
See also: could, much

as much as somebody can/could ˈdo (not) to do something

used to say that something is/was difficult to do: No dessert for me, thanks. It was as much as I could do to finish the main course.
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