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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    • Join Date: May 2013
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    #1

    I should be tempted to say

    Hello.

    I can't undertstand this sentence in my book:

    There are some laws and customs in this empire very pecular, and if they were not so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I should be tempted to say a little in their justification.

    First of all, I have no idea what the bold part means. Can you interpret it?
    Secondly, what does "say in" mean here?
    Finally, does "directly" mean "completely" in this context?

    Thanks in advance.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I should be tempted to say

    It would have been useful if you had mentioned your source, Gulliver's Travels, published in 1726.
    Last edited by 5jj; 30-Jan-2014 at 10:57.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I should be tempted to say

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    Hello.

    I can't undertstand this sentence in my book:

    There are some laws and customs in this empire very pecular, and if they were not so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I should be tempted to say a little in their justification.

    First of all, I have no idea what the bold part means. Can you interpret it?
    Secondly, what does "say in" mean here?
    Finally, does "directly" mean "completely" in this context?

    Thanks in advance.
    Yes, 'directly' means close enough to 'completely' in this context.
    "Say in" doesn't mean anything. I could say something in your favour. Gulliver is tempted to say something in justification of their laws and customs.
    Saying something in a certain context isn't "saying in".
    "Say a little" means "say a small amount". "I should be tempted" means "I would be tempted."
    The reason Gulliver doesn't say something in their favour is because of his fear of the reaction of his countrymen who would not approve (because their laws and customs are directly contrary).

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