# Thread: What Is The Semicolon Functions? What Does "if you please" Mean?

1. ## What Is The Semicolon Functions? What Does "if you please" Mean?

Hi there,

I have some questions.

"Poor Mr. and Miss Woodhouse, if you please; but I cannot possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor.' I have a great regard for you and Emma; but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence!—At any rate, it must be better to have only one to please, than two."

1. What does "if you please" mean here and what is the function of semicolon after it ?

2. Is the interpretation of the first sentence " if you, Poor Emma and her father, don't mind, I can not possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor'?

3. What does "but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence" mean and what is itsrelation to the previous sentence? what function does semicolon there?

Thanks

2. ## Re: Just a Little Help

Before you post any more questions about this book, can I please remind you that the forum guidelines ask you to make your thread titles meaningful and relevant. They should contain all or part of the words you are querying. Your previous titles "Emma by Jane Austin - Chapter 1 - Part 6" or whatever they were were quite unhelpful as they all look so similar, it's hard to tell them apart.

The title of this one (Just a Little Help) tells us nothing. You could have called it, for instance, "the question of dependence or independence".

3. ## Re: What Is The Semicolon Functions? What Does "if you please" Mean?

Originally Posted by Oliver_Twist
Hi there,

I have some questions.

"Poor Mr. and Miss Woodhouse, if you please; but I cannot possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor.' I have a great regard for you and Emma; but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence!—At any rate, it must be better to have only one to please, than two."

1. What does "if you please" mean here and what is the function of semicolon after it ?
'If you choose to say that' The previous speaker hass presumably said '
poor Miss Taylor'

2. Is the interpretation of the first sentence " if you, Poor Emma and her father, don't mind, I can not possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor'?
No; see my answer to 1 and think again
3. What does "but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence" mean and what is itsrelation to the previous sentence? what function does semicolon there?

...
It's a question of context. The semi-colon has its usual function of ending a sentence before continuing with a related sentence. But the relatedness is in the mind of the speaker. In this case, the speaker could not find a polite way of saying what s/he was thinking, and so just let the idea hang ("!-") and added 'At any rate...'.

I don't know if this is Miss Bates, but the rather scatter-brained punctuation suggests it might be. If so, you/we have a hard row to hoe!

b

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