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  1. #1
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    May 2005
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    Default the odd 'in any case'

    The phrase 'in any case' appears to be a little bit inconsistent in two different uses, as in:

    In any case
    1 whatever the situation is or will be:
    Traffic may be bad, but in any case we'll be there in time for dinner.
    2 used for adding information to support a statement or make it clearer:
    Nobody saw her on the train. In any case, she probably didn't have enough money for a ticket.

    While I fully understand what it means in the first example, the second example, in which 'in any case' serves a logical and connecting purpose, makes little sense to me.
    Is it possible to interprete 'in any case' as 'in any situation' or 'in spite of other considerations' and still be able to understand the second example?
    Or perhaps the second use of 'in any case' has lost its original meaning during sense development and thereby become distinct from the first?

    Any reply'd be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Default Re: the odd 'in any case'

    In any case [/B] is known as a discourse marker. That means that it is supposed to add information or arguments to what has already been said.
    I think the easy way to see if "in any case" fits the context is to replace is with "besides".
    It doesn't seem to click with "besides, either. Your second sentence doesn't really add to the information but answers the question why you think she wasn't on the train. I would use a different discourse marker and say " I am afraid I think she didn't have enough money to buy a ticket. "

  3. #3
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    Default Re: the odd 'in any case'

    Many thanks, Marylin

  4. #4
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: the odd 'in any case'

    Quote Originally Posted by peteryoung
    Any reply'd be appreciated.
    "In any case" is, as Marylin said, a discourse marker (also known as a cue phrase, discourse particle and clue word).


    It is, like "anyway", used to mark or signal a return from a digression.

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