[General] never so = however

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vil

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Dear teachers,

Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

She was a very thrifty person; she would not buy an extra dress for herself were it never so becoming.

never so = however

Thank you for your efforts.

Regards,

V.
 

2006

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Dear teachers,

Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

She was a very thrifty person; she would not buy an extra dress for herself were it never so becoming.

never so = however

Thank you for your efforts.

Regards,

V.
Are you sure you copied that right?
 

Raymott

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Dear teachers,

Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

She was a very thrifty person; she would not buy an extra dress for herself were it never so becoming.

never so = however

Thank you for your efforts.

Regards,

V.
If this is a proper sentence, "never so becoming" means "not so becoming".
One has to assume that she has bought a second dress, or that she is about to, or that at least she would buy a dress as becoming as this.
"She would not have bought it if it hadn't been so becoming."
"She would not have bought it had it not been so becoming."
"She would not have bought it had it been not so becoming."
"She wouldn't buy it if it were not so becoming."
"She wouldn't buy it were it not so becoming."
 

vil

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Hi Raymott,

Thank you for your extensive research.

You have to know that I’m not the prime source of the present muddy sentence. I’m only a humble interpreter. Unfortunately my interpretation is a far cry from yours.

She was a very thrifty person; she would not buy an extra dress for herself were it never so becoming.

The present girl is very tight-fisted (stingy, parsimonious).

The dress fitted her well (become, suit, befit).

The girl would not buy an extra dress for herself though it (the dress ) was a close fit to her.

Here is another sentence for helping your comprehension.

There's room enough for a company be it never so large.

never so = however

be it never so great

never so = however

however dangerous it may be

however = never so

I'll be at home whenever he arrives.

I'll be at home whenever he arrives.
Whenever I see her she is smiling.

Thank you again for your kindness.

Regards,

V.
 

Raymott

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Hi Raymott,
Thank you for your extensive research.

I did no research for this.

Here is another sentence for helping your comprehension.

There's room enough for a company be it never so large.

never so = however
Well, but "never so" doesn't mean "however".
And even if it did, "She would not buy an extra dress for herself were it never so becoming" would be wrong.
It would have to be, "She would not buy an extra dress for herself however becoming it was." which would translate as, "She would not buy an extra dress for herself never so becoming it was."

As it is, if the sentence doesn't mean what I've inferred, it is as meaningless to me as it apparently was to 2006.
 
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