What does this mean?

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bennet89

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"What could account for a libido so markedly low that it countenance such a relationship?"

The above snippet is from a book I am reading now. I could not understand this part. Please help.

I am confused as to whether the question is about how such a low libido came about or how such a low libido could stem a relationship. What is the questioning referring to?

'Such a relationship' here means a marriage that is devoid of physical relationship.
 

Raymott

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"What could account for a libido so markedly low that it could/would countenance such a relationship?"

I think you might have left a word out.
"How do you explain a sex drive so low that it would tolerate such a relationship?"
However, libidos don't have relationships, so it's a bad sentence anyway, I think. It sounds like the writer is referring to the owner of the libido with "it".

The above snippet is from a book I am reading now. I could not understand this part. Please help.

I am confused as to whether the question is about how such a low libido came about or how such a low libido could stem from[?] a relationship. What is the questioning referring to?


'Such a relationship' here means a marriage that is devoid of physical relationship.
R.
 

BobK

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I'm, not so sure. Until quite recently a subjunctive would be used after 'that' (to mean 'might/could/should countenance').

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TheParser

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"What could account for a libido so markedly low that it countenance such a relationship?"

The above snippet is from a book I am reading now. I could not understand this part. Please help.

I am confused as to whether the question is about how such a low libido came about or how such a low libido could stem a relationship. What is the questioning referring to?

'Such a relationship' here means a marriage that is devoid of physical relationship.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Good afternoon, Bennet.

(1) Perhaps I am a poor reader, but the question seems simple enough:

(a) Mr. and Mrs. X have a non-physical relationship.

(b) Either Mr. X or Mrs. X or both have no problem with this situation.

(c) What caused Mr. X and/or Mrs. X to have this low interest in that aspect of marriage? Trauma in their younger years? Confusion about their true orientation? Religious inhibitions? etc.
 

BobK

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:up: An American English view. As I've said elsewhere, the American chapter of the Society for the Protection of the Subjunctive is much more active than ours. ;-)

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