relieve someone of the obligation

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Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hi, there

I was reading a translation of preface to a book. The preface relates the work of people who are serving on a jury panel(panel of judges?).

"Worsening my mood in this way, I opened a big heavy block with five hundred large pages: a dozen lengthy tales, signed by a certain Viator. In such cases, we beg God that the original be not worth a dime and spare us from the obligation of going to the end. It didn't turn out that way: that was too serious a work."

I would like to know if I couldn't replace "spare us from the obligation " with "relieve us of the obligation"?

Thank you
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Yes, probably. This feels like an incorrect use of "spare". You could say spare us the obligation (without from) or relieve us from the obligation.

    But the structure is already wrong.
    The part about being not worth a dime sits alongside the part about sparing us, and if we take out the dime part we have "We beg God that the original spare us.." or is it "We beg God that spare us..".
    Both are wrong. I could accept "We beg God that he spare us." or "We beg God that this spare us" ("this" being the fact that the original is worthless).
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