one can only survive for so long.

thaleshensilva

Senior Member
Portuguese-Brazil
I heard this on the cartoon series Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
'' Padmé: I must say, when I came to visit, hadn't pictured us in such an informal setting.
Satine: Yes, well, from what master Kenobi tells me, During your tenure as queen, you became quite familiar with such excursions.
Padmé: One can only survive the rigors of courtly formalities for so long.
Satine: We are of the same mind.''
The informal setting Senator Padmé referred to was the ''sneaking'' and dangerous stuff they were doing and she hadn't expected that. In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars universe Satine was the duchess of the planet Mandalore and Padmé a senator who, on that episode, visited her. However Padmé apparently didn't expect to end up investigating a corruption scheme and sneaking inside docks. But when Padmé tells Satine, Satine says she was told that Padmé became quite familiar with such ''excursions'', a reference to one of the Star Wars movies where she is exposed to a battle or something (I don't remember). Then Padmé says those words in bold. What did she mean by them?
From what I can understand, Padmé can survive the ''rigors of courtly formalities''(In my view=Princess stuff), but something tells me she can't, maybe she finds them ''boring'' and wants more action. Or, the ''rigors of courtly formalities'' includes the dangerous stuff they do and she is simply being ironic. But one could interpret that ''so long'' here actually means ''good-bye'', and Padmé meant: ''One can only survive [...] for good-bye''. There is time only to say ''good-bye''. I have no clue what she meant.
 
  • DaylightDelight

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Tokyo
    "only ... for so long" here means "only for a certain period of time", "not for a very long time".
    So what Padmé means is that she could do royalty stuff as long as it was necessary but she needed occasional breaks.
    I interpret this conversation as something like:
    Satine: You did a lot of excursions (in spite of being a queen)
    Padmé: Because I sometimes got bored with those court stuff.
    Satine: How I agree with you.
     

    thaleshensilva

    Senior Member
    Portuguese-Brazil
    "only ... for so long" here means "only for a certain period of time", "not for a very long time".
    So what Padmé means is that she could do royalty stuff as long as it was necessary but she needed occasional breaks.
    I interpret this conversation as something like:
    Satine: You did a lot of excursions (in spite of being a queen)
    Padmé: Because I sometimes got bored with those court stuff.
    Satine: How I agree with you.
    I just don't understand why so long means for a certain period of time, given that ''long'' means ''
    lasting or taking a great amount of time''.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    "So" means "this much" here. Imagine you are looking for a piece of string and someone asks How long do you want it? You could hold out your hands six inches apart and say "So long" i.e. this long - which isn't very long at all:rolleyes:
    In your context how long [a short period of time] is being implied by the speaker.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Only for so long" is idiomatic, and similar "only so much" and "only so many". It indicates that there is a limit (e.g. to what one can endure). "So many X" (in such cases) means "a limited number of X".

    Even if you love chocolate ice-cream, there's only so much you can eat before you start to feel sick.
    You can only read so many posts before you feel like taking a break.
     
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