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[DISCLAIMER] I asked this question on english.stackexchange already but can't get along with the answer that was given to me and they also suggested to try ell.stackexchange for my needs.

There was this dialog in Don Delillo's Cosmopolis and I couldn't figure the construction in the last sentence.

(A little context, the main character Eric talks to his female bodyguard Kendra, who he had sex with just before, Torval is Eric's chief of security.)

"What's he going to say to you about this?"

"Torval? Is that who you're talking about?' She was amused. "Say his name."

"What's he going to say to you?"

"Just so you're safe. That's his job," she said.

I can rule out that Kendra continues some thought or speech she began before the quoted part.

Is she answering the question directly, does the 'just so you're safe' correspond to 'what?' Or is this more a kind of indirect answer? It would seem natural to me to answer 'just so you're safe' to some kind of why question.

Or is the 'just so you're safe' contributed to Torvald, does she mean that he will answer something like 'just so Eric's safe?'

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, Alan Carmack, JavaLatte, Glorfindel, Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 Sep 10 '16 at 20:53

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She's answering the question by 'quoting' what she expects Torval to say: Torval will shrug off the fact that Kendra is sleeping with the man she's supposed to be guarding and say he doesn't care as long as ('just so') Eric ('you') is safe.

She adds to this the observation that Eric's safety is Torval's job, the only matter in the situation he cares about.

  • Thank you! Is it common to replace 'as long as' with 'just so?' Replaced with 'as long as' the sentence makes a lot sense to me. – fweth Sep 10 '16 at 16:03
  • @fweth Yes, in this context they both have much the same sense: approximately "to the extent that". – StoneyB Sep 10 '16 at 19:15

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