she also <simply> could not stand the thought

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Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 417, chapter 18) by DH Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie's fathe was unhappy that Connie had affairs with her gamekeeper. Then her sister Hilda came.…)

Hilda arrived, also furious when she heard of the new developments. And she also simply could not stand the thought of a public scandal about her sister and a game-keeper. Too, too humiliating!

Simply is likely to mean only/merely and completely/absolutely. Which one is possible please?
Note: Connie's father, Malcolm, didn't care whether his daughter had affairs outside of her marriage, but he couldn't stand her daught being with her gamekeeper. In other words, he only cared about the social status of Connie's lover.
So was Hilda. So Hilda also(as her father did) only(=simply) couldn't stand a gamekeeper.

Anyway, I suspect simply=only/merely.
Am I right please?
Thank you in advance
  • longxianchen

    Senior Member
    Thank you so much. But does it always mean ablolutely/really/just in the structure simply can't/couldn't? Never means merely/only?
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    It can mean "merely" or "only" in other sentences.

    Suppose you phone a friend just to talk and he asks you if you wanted anything in particular, and you might reply with: No, I called simply to chat.
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