Hello. I have a question about the sentences like:

"The least I need is..."


"The least I need is your support."

I had a very long discussion with my girlfriend about this and I really want someone to make it clear for me. I used that sentence in a conversation with her and she interpreted that her support isn't really important for me, when I actually meant the opposite.

Searching around I noticed that the meaning of this kind of sentence can be either "the last thing I need" (what she interpreted) or "what I need at least" (what I tried to say).

What is the correct meaning of this sentence? Does the meaning depend on the context?

I'll leave some random examples I found (which are not necessary used correctly). As I interpret them, both meanings are used depending on the context.

"For all others who want me to add their blog to the blog roll - please, the least I need is your e - mail and the name of your blog"

"The least I need is a decent beach and good snorkeling. Haven't found that on the mainland at least on the south coast. At least the rainy season should be on the way out by then. Good luck"

"I think it's a nifty device and if I only needed something for playing Farmville on Facebook it would be great. But for editing photos the least I need is a 15" MacBook Pro (which I have and use with an external monitor at home, and I don't play Farmville emoticon - wink )."

"After reading about a program called Second Life for years, I finally decided to try it. I was reluctant because of how much time I already spend on the internet. The least I need is another reason to be online."

"I figured the least I need is a switch; but do I also need an additional receiver, or will the switch use the opener as the receiver?"

Thanks for your help!

ps: she got really mad at me cuz I didn't agree with her Emotion: stick out tongue
There are two expressions that could be fairly easily confused. So far as I know number one is never used to mean the same thing as number two.

1) the least I need--means "the minimum I need is..."

2) the last thing I need--means "I don't need..."
Is it possible to understand that her support isnt really important for me? (in "the least I need is your support"). We agreed that it means "the minimum I need is.." at some point, but she would still argue saying that she understands that "her support" isn't important. She was completly sure that I used that sentence wrong so I got really confused about it.
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hundIs it possible to understand that her support isnt really important for me?
As I said, so far as I know expression number one is never used to mean the same thing as expression number two. I don't know what else I can tell you.
No, she is misinterpreting. The minimum you need is her support. (You would like more, but that's the very least you can make do with.)
Try this -- "I didn't mean your support wasn't important to me! I meant that I can't imagine getting by without your support -- it's the most important thing to me right now. I'm sorry if I said it wrong -- I really didn't mean to offend you."

(You didn't say it wrong -- she heard it wrong. But if you're more concerned with geting her to stop being mad at you than with being right, maybe you should apologize anyway.) Emotion: wink
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Thanks for your replies. She knows what I tried to say so that's alright. She actually got mad because I didn't want to accept that my sentence was wrong Emotion: stick out tongue

So far, I don't see how my sentence was wrong... and by what you say it was just fine.
Yes, your sentence was fine.

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