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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Jun 2015
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    struggling to understand this structure

    Hi all
    I'm having trouble understanding this phrase: "Spray your soul daily with goodwill; and withhold not the spray from thy neighbor." The last part sounds strange to me, "and withhold not the spray from thy neighbor". Does it mean to refuse the neighbor's "spray of goodwill"?

    Thank you!

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

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    • Posts: 41,813
    #2

    Re: struggling to understand this structure

    No, it means that you should not only spray your own soul with goodwill every day, but you should also spray your neighbour (his soul, at least) with goodwill every day.

    In other words, be nice to yourself and be nice to other people.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #3

    Re: struggling to understand this structure

    It means you should also spray your neighbor's soul with good will.

  4. Eckaslike's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Wales

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 574
    #4

    Re: struggling to understand this structure

    (Not a Teacher. BrE first language speaker)

    "and withhold not"

    Emsr2d2 and MikeNewYork have already explained the meaning well. In addition I would add that this is a very old fashioned way of writing or saying something. This form is often used in informal English for humorous effect as it is reminiscent of an old fashioned formal instruction from someone in authority. This is emphasised by the use of the word "thy" later in the sentence.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: struggling to understand this structure

    This may be from an old manuscript.

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