lost with this sentence

harriet_yang

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Dear teachers,

"He labored for this purpose with all the energy of a Caesar; indeed, for a time he had the sympathy, if not the secret support, of Caesar. "There was nothing," said Cicero, "that he could not undergo, no pains that he would spare of cooperation, vigilance, and toil. he could bear cold, hunger, and thirst."

Is the sentence in red equivalent to:

There was nothing that he could not undergo. There were no pains that he would spare of cooperation, vigilance, and toil?

Still don't understand the latter part, though. Does it mean that he wouldn't give up cooperation, vigilance, and toil even if he felt painful?


Thanks a lot!
 
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cameron206

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I think the essence is this: "There were no pains that he would spare."
Meaning that he would certainly undergo pain for this goal. He would not avoid pain.

In particular, he would not avoid any pain in relation to cooperation, vigilance, and toil.
Sometimes cooperation is painful- but he would not avoid it. Like cooperating with people he did not like.
Often vigilance is painful- but he would not avoid it. He would stay attentive regardless of the cost.
By definition toil is painful- but he would not avoid it.

I am no teacher though.
 

GoesStation

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"Sentence" is singular and requires a singular verb. Ask Is the sentence in red equivalent to...?
 

andrewg927

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Does it mean that he wouldn't give up cooperation, vigilance, and toil even if he felt painful?

Yes. But be aware that "pain" here is not just physical pain (which it could be) but also psychological pain.
 

harriet_yang

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Thanks a lot. I guess what confuses me is the phrase "spare of." I had a hard time understand it.

I think the essence is this: "There were no pains that he would spare."
Meaning that he would certainly undergo pain for this goal. He would not avoid pain.
 
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GoesStation

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Thanks a lot. I guess what confuses me is the phrase "spare of." I had a hard time understand it.

You could rewrite the phrase they occur in like this: no pains that he would spare; not the pains of cooperation, nor the pains of vigilance, nor the pains of toil.
 
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