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    He had but seated = Scarcely had he seated

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track by the interpretation the expression in bold in the following excerpt from the George Donald’s “Donal Grand”?

    He had but seated himself when a woman came to the door of the cottage, looked at him for a moment, and probably thinking him, from his bare feet, poorer than he was, said—Hardly /scarcely had he seated ….Only just had he seated….

    Thank you for your efforts.



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    Re: He had but seated = Scarcely had he seated

    Yes, you are correct.

    The expression is pretty old fashioned (Donald wrote it 150 years ago) but occassionally read - and seldom said - today.

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