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    barely 10 o'clock

    The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively. The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for specators were few. The time was barely 10 o'clock at night, but chilly gusts of wind with a taste of rain in them had well nigh depeopled the streets.

    I know the meaning of impress, but I wonder to whom the police impressed.

    Does the `impressiveness was habitual' means `impressiveness was natural'?

    Last, I think, the `barely 10 o'clock' means `near to 10 o'clock' which means not yet 10 o' clock and may be 9.45, or 9.50 p.m. Am I right?
    Please help me.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: barely 10 o'clock

    Hi Gary,
    I find "impressively" to be an odd choice here. However, anyone watching would be impressed.

    The impressiveness was habitual means that he wasn't being impressive on purpose (he wasn't "showing off") but it was his usual way of behaving. I guess you could say it was natural.

    "Barely 10" means it was just 10 or just after 10. It could be 10:05 or 10:10.

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