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  1. #1
    bennet89 Guest

    What does this mean?

    "What could account for a libido so markedly low that it countenance such a relationship?"

    The above snippet is from a book I am reading now. I could not understand this part. Please help.

    I am confused as to whether the question is about how such a low libido came about or how such a low libido could stem a relationship. What is the questioning referring to?

    'Such a relationship' here means a marriage that is devoid of physical relationship.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by bennet89 View Post
    "What could account for a libido so markedly low that it could/would countenance such a relationship?"

    I think you might have left a word out.
    "How do you explain a sex drive so low that it would tolerate such a relationship?"
    However, libidos don't have relationships, so it's a bad sentence anyway, I think. It sounds like the writer is referring to the owner of the libido with "it".

    The above snippet is from a book I am reading now. I could not understand this part. Please help.

    I am confused as to whether the question is about how such a low libido came about or how such a low libido could stem from[?] a relationship. What is the questioning referring to?


    'Such a relationship' here means a marriage that is devoid of physical relationship.
    R.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: What does this mean?

    I'm, not so sure. Until quite recently a subjunctive would be used after 'that' (to mean 'might/could/should countenance').

    b

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by bennet89 View Post
    "What could account for a libido so markedly low that it countenance such a relationship?"

    The above snippet is from a book I am reading now. I could not understand this part. Please help.

    I am confused as to whether the question is about how such a low libido came about or how such a low libido could stem a relationship. What is the questioning referring to?

    'Such a relationship' here means a marriage that is devoid of physical relationship.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good afternoon, Bennet.

    (1) Perhaps I am a poor reader, but the question seems simple enough:

    (a) Mr. and Mrs. X have a non-physical relationship.

    (b) Either Mr. X or Mrs. X or both have no problem with this situation.

    (c) What caused Mr. X and/or Mrs. X to have this low interest in that aspect of marriage? Trauma in their younger years? Confusion about their true orientation? Religious inhibitions? etc.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: What does this mean?

    An American English view. As I've said elsewhere, the American chapter of the Society for the Protection of the Subjunctive is much more active than ours.

    b

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