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I'm reading a light novel and a runaway girl's brother has finally come to pick her up. The two are talking and the girl says she isn't quite ready and doesn't want to go back home.

He eventually tells her he'll do her a solid and give her a week to think everything over. The problem sentence is here:

お前{まえ}の気持{きも}ちは分{わ}かったよ。でも、やっぱりあまり猶予{ゆうよ}はないと思{おも}ってほしい。僕{ぼく}が稼{かせ}げる時間{じかん}はせいぜい一週間{いっしゅうかん}だ。

First sentence I feel fine with. Second one, hmm, "But, I want you to know there really isn't going to be much of a grace period"

Third one, "As for the time I can work, it's at most a week."?

I can tell from the rest of their dialogue that he definitely gives her a week and she's grateful for it. But I would have thought he would say something like 「僕{ぼく}があげる時間{じかん}。。。」 not 「稼{かせ}げる時間{じかん}」, since his work wasn't part of the conversation at all and isn't part of it after this sentence either.

From my research, 稼{かせ}げる means to work or earn money, and neither of those definitions make sense to me in that sentence. I just don't get what that verb is supposed to mean here. Can someone help me pleasseee?

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    一瞬間 is "one moment"/"for a moment". Perhaps you misread it as 一週間?
    – istrasci
    Nov 18 '20 at 2:00
  • As istrasci notes, 一瞬間 means “a moment”, not “a week”. 瞬【まばた】き with the same kanji means “a blink, the blink of an eye”. Nov 18 '20 at 2:54
  • Ah, twas a typo. Thanks for pointing it out
    – OtheJared
    Nov 18 '20 at 4:01
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稼ぐ primarily means "to earn money", but its object can be almost any intangible thing gained through hard work.

  • 点数を稼ぐ to get scores (sports)
  • マイルを稼ぐ to earn miles
  • 経験値を稼ぐ to grind experience points (game)

時間を稼ぐ is usually translated as "to buy time". The verb used is different, but this is a set phrase you have to remember. Note that this guy does not have any "free time" to give to her yet; he is going to manage to "buy time" from now in one way or another.

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  • Thanks for the answer, that seems like a useful phrase to remember
    – OtheJared
    Nov 18 '20 at 4:02

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