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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    tragically, we are.

    1. Is this "tragically, we are." saying "we are capable of stealing or not"?
    2. Does this "living with ourselves" mean "endure" or "keep one's pride"?

    330-188
    ex)We're pretty good at getting ourselves to do things we don't desire, even things we passionately hate. But getting ourselves to do things that we think are immoral is a different matter. I would bet that no amount of persuasion will get you to steal your neighbor's car- even if I could gurantee that you wouldn't get caught. This is not to say we're incapable of such things; tragically, we are. The point is that...Most would agree that it takes considerably more psychological effort to do what we think is seriously wrong than to do what we strongly desire not to do. Part of it has to do with the psychic "cost" of living with ourselves after commiting an immoral act.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tragically, we are.

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    1. Is this "tragically, we are." saying "we are capable of stealing or not"? It says we are capable of doing things like that.
    2. Does this "living with ourselves" mean "endure" or "keep one's pride"? It refers to coping with what we did ("committing an immoral act"), trying to find a way of not thinking too much about it and go on with our lives.

    330-188
    ex)We're pretty good at getting ourselves to do things we don't desire, even things we passionately hate. But getting ourselves to do things that we think are immoral is a different matter. I would bet that no amount of persuasion will get you to steal your neighbor's car- even if I could gurantee that you wouldn't get caught. This is not to say we're incapable of such things; tragically, we are. The point is that...Most would agree that it takes considerably more psychological effort to do what we think is seriously wrong than to do what we strongly desire not to do. Part of it has to do with the psychic "cost" of living with ourselves after committing an immoral act.
    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: tragically, we are.

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    1. Is this "tragically, we are." saying "we are capable of stealing or not"?
    2. Does this "living with ourselves" mean "endure" or "keep one's pride"?

    330-188
    ex)We're pretty good at getting ourselves to do things we don't desire, even things we passionately hate. But getting ourselves to do things that we think are immoral is a different matter. I would bet that no amount of persuasion will get you to steal your neighbor's car- even if I could gurantee guarantee that you wouldn't get caught. This is not to say we're incapable of such things; tragically, we are. The point is that...Most would agree that it takes considerably more psychological effort to do what we think is seriously wrong than to do what we strongly desire not to do. Part of it has to do with the psychic "cost" of living with ourselves after commiting ​committing an immoral act.
    In the matter of "tragically, we are", you may consider the following -
    1. Delete "tragically" - the sentence now reads that we are capable of stealing
    2. Replace "tragically" with "happily" - the sentence now reads that we are capable of stealing and this act is a happy act
    3. Replace "tragically" with "sadly" - the sentence now reads that we are capable of stealing and this is a sad act
    4. Replace "tragically" with "unhappily" - the sentence now reads that we are capable of stealing and this is not a happy act

    The point is that, while the placement of "tragically", may mystify you, this word only serves to describe the text before it.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: tragically, we are.

    I'm sorry I don't get your point that much, and my confusion was why (incapable) doesn't follow after "we are" when there is no "capable" in advance. Most structures like this adopt some adjective or verb in unvaried form before it. Is the positive meaning just implied?

    ex)....This is not to say we're incapable of such things; tragically, we are.(incapable)..

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: tragically, we are.

    I see. Pretend the sentence before said "It's not to say that we're not capable of such things" and then it said "Tragically, we are capable of such things."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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