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but yes

Discussion in 'English Only' started by joh2001smile, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. joh2001smile Senior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese
    This is from a book named Boundless Potential by Marks S. Walton. Gil Garcetti reinvented himself and became a photographer in his second half of life.
    Is the subject expression a gap filler with no significance?
    Context:
    “I never thought about it that way really, but yes,” Gil told me. “As a prosecutor, I wanted to direct the system into those areas that I felt needed exposure. Not having that authority any longer, I started using the power of the camera.”
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    The "but yes" seems to be answering a question he was asked, or confirming a statement that was made, just before this quotation. Could you tell us what that is, please?
     
  3. b3n5p34km4n Junior Member

    American English
    "But" usually implies some sort of thing that goes against expectations.

    example: He was very ugly, but the girls still liked him. (side note: you could replace "but" here with "yet", but not in your example)

    To further clarify your quote, the situation is that someone has just told Gil a fresh new perspective (one that Gil had not considered before), but he does agree that what the person said is true. In a way, it's as if he's interjecting into his own sentence to reaffirm that he does in fact agree with whatever the person just said to him.
     
  4. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    It is Gil's way of accepting the new idea. It is short for "yes, I can see your point ... "
     
  5. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    It's an acknowledgment of the partner in conversation's view.
     
  6. joh2001smile Senior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese
    I can't see any questions raised relevantly here, the foregoing sentence is:
    Unwittingly, he was reinventing himself, marrying his new photographic talents to the observational skills he had refined through his previous career.
     
  7. b3n5p34km4n Junior Member

    American English
    The only additional part that would have any relevance here is the immediately preceding piece of dialogue, whatever the speaker said to Gil in order to provoke the response that Gil gave. Either way, that would not change anyone's answer here.

    P.S. By "foregoing" did you mean "missing" or "preceding"? I don't believe "forego" can be used as you did there.
     
  8. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Unwittingly, he was reinventing himself, marrying his new photographic talents to the observational skills he had refined through his previous career.
    “I never thought about it that way really, but yes,” Gil told me. “As a prosecutor, I wanted to direct the system into those areas that I felt needed exposure. Not having that authority any longer, I started using the power of the camera.”


    He never thought about his new career as being a marriage of his new photographic talents and the observational skills he had refined in previous his career as a legal prosecutor, but yes, (now that he thought about it, or now that someone pointed it out) that's what he was doing.
     
  9. joh2001smile Senior Member

    Beijing, China
    Chinese
    Thank you Copyright, I get it.
    Thanks everybody.
    The author didn't use quotation marks in his foregoing senences to indicate a statement so I was confused by what the 'Yes' related to. Now I am clear.
     

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