Grammar

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puzzle

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I extract this from “ Tess of the d’Urbervilles”.

Only one person had preceded Tess up the hill—a lady-like young woman, somewhat interesting. Tess had nearly overtaken her when the speed of her brothers-in-law brought them so nearly behind her back that she could hear every word of their coversation. They said nothing, however, which particularly interested her till, observing the young lady still further in front, one of them remarked,” there is Mercy Chant. Let us overtake her.’
Tess knew the name. It was the woman who had been destined for Angel’s life-companion by his and her parents, and whom he probably would have married but for her intrusive self. She would have known as much without previous information if she had waited a moment, for one of the brothers proceeded to say: “Ah! Poor Angel, I never see that nice girl without more and more regretting his precipitancy in throwing himself away upon a dairymaid, or whatever she may be. ..”
Tess beat up the long hill still faster; but she could not outwalk them without exciting notice. At last they outsped her altogether, ant past her by.

:?: " She would have known as much without previous information if she had waited a moment" means Tess hear one of her brothers-in-law words, Or not?Please.
 

albertino

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I extract this from “ Tess of the d’Urbervilles”.

Only one person had preceded Tess up the hill—a lady-like young woman, somewhat interesting. Tess had nearly overtaken her when the speed of her brothers-in-law brought them so nearly behind her back that she could hear every word of their coversation. They said nothing, however, which particularly interested her till, observing the young lady still further in front, one of them remarked,” there is Mercy Chant. Let us overtake her.’
Tess knew the name. It was the woman who had been destined for Angel’s life-companion by his and her parents, and whom he probably would have married but for her intrusive self. She would have known as much without previous information if she had waited a moment, for one of the brothers proceeded to say: “Ah! Poor Angel, I never see that nice girl without more and more regretting his precipitancy in throwing himself away upon a dairymaid, or whatever she may be. ..”
Tess beat up the long hill still faster; but she could not outwalk them without exciting notice. At last they outsped her altogether, ant past her by.

:?: " She would have known as much without previous information if she had waited a moment" means Tess hear one of her brothers-in-law words, Or not?Please.
Tess hadn't waited, so she didn't know as much. (Not a teacher);-)
 

puzzle

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Tess had nearly overtaken her when the speed of her brothers-in-law brought them so nearly behind her back that she could hear every word of their coversation.

:?:See, it means Tess could hear everything that the brothers-in-law said. How can she miss the words?
 

David L.

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The speed of her brothers-in-law brought them so close to Tess "that she could hear every word of their conversation" . Tess knew all about Angel and his marriage. However, even if she hadn't known all of this - "without (having any)previous information" about Angel - she was about to hear him tell the whole story - "one of the brothers proceeded to say: “Ah! Poor Angel, I never see that nice girl without more and more regretting his precipitancy in throwing himself away upon a dairymaid, or whatever she may be. ..”
However, when she realized they were so close, she walked faster, and so in just a few moments, she was out of earshot (could no longer hear the brother's conversation) and didn't get to hear the story about his marriage. But of course, it didn't matter - she knew about the marriage already.
 
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