Senior Member
Russia: Russian
Hello :)

“Well”, when it is used as exclamation, can express different emotions. What do you think the author means to say in the following example (it is very important: I have to translate it)?

“They were all in the middle of a burst of merry and slightly risqué laughter when Peter looked up and his eyes met Susanna Osbourne’s across the room.
In the brief moment before she looked away he saw neither stars in her eyes nor adoration in the rest of her face. Quite the contrary indeed.”

Sorry for a longish extract
And thank you in advance.
Last edited:
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes, virtually impossible to say without having read the whole book before this point.
    To me it sounds more like 'numb realization and resignation': Oh so that's the way it is. That's how it stands between us. I hadn't realized it was as bad as all that.


    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I agree with the impossiblity of it all. My first impression on reading the extract was that "Well." is a conversational marker announcing that something important will be said next.


    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Here it suggests a space-filler - something someone says just to fill an awkward moment when they don't know what to say. I think that the author could equally have written "hmmm" or "okay" there. However, even more context could clarify that further.
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