3

Can one say, for example, "The publisher did not restrict himself to classics. He did publish Shakespeare, but, at the same time, a few years later he published Christie too"

3
  • 3
    "At the same time 20 years later" doesn't really make sense here. Yes, "at the same time" is sometimes used to mean "but also", as in "I kind of like bubblegum-flavored ice cream, while at the same time I kind of hate it too", but here it clashes badly with "20 years later" because it leaves the reader saying, "Was it at the same time, or was it 20 years later?"
    – stangdon
    Sep 13, 2016 at 13:47
  • But in your example "at the same time" seems to be used literally (not as "but also"): "I kind of like bubblegum-flavored ice cream, while at the same time---neither earlier, nor later---I kind of hate it too"
    – Serguei
    Sep 13, 2016 at 14:18
  • Yes, it can mean literally "at the same moment", but that's not how I would interpret it in my example, because there's not one specific instant at which I like bubblegum-flavored ice cream; it's more of a stative thing.
    – stangdon
    Sep 13, 2016 at 15:26

3 Answers 3

1

The idiom refers to two meanings

at the same time (idiom)

  1. Simultaneously [first in 1526]
  2. Nevertheless [c. 1700]

Under the context of the given sentence, the word 'nevertheless' would best fit its meaning.

0

The publisher did not restrict himself to classics. He did publish Shakespeare, but at the same time 20 years later he published Christie too

This is saying that, for example, if he published Shakespeare on June 10th, 1980, he then published Christie on June 10th, 2000. "At the same time" is saying that the times of the publication are the same, except for the year being 20 years later.

8
  • I utterly disagree with you here. oxforddictionaries supplies the definition: Nevertheless (used to introduce a fact that should be taken into account): I can’t really explain it, but at the same time I’m not convinced; thefreedictionary supplies the definition Fig. nevertheless; however; along with that. Bill was able to pay for the damage. At the same time, he was very angry about the accident. We agree to your demands. At the same time, we object strongly to your methods. The use of the word but heavily implies that it is this definition that the author is after.
    – kasfme
    Sep 13, 2016 at 12:55
  • @kasfme : I think you responded to the wrong question.
    – LawrenceC
    Sep 13, 2016 at 12:56
  • I don't think so? You said "At the same time" is saying that the times of the publication are the same, except for the year being 20 years later. I responded that no, I think it is the secondary meaning that is intended, which oxforddictionaries and thefreedictionary define as a synonym of nevertheless.
    – kasfme
    Sep 13, 2016 at 13:02
  • 2
    I apologise. I have been writing in a confusing way. I will be more clear. "At the same time" has two meanings. The first meaning is "at this time" or "at this date". The second meaning of "At the same time" is "nevertheless".
    – kasfme
    Sep 13, 2016 at 13:28
  • 1
    Ok, I understand now. Commas in the original sentence would have made that clear - "... He did publish Shakespeare, but, at the same time, 20 years later he published Christie too." So yeah, I think you're right with it meaning "nevertheless." @stangdon: I agree.
    – LawrenceC
    Sep 13, 2016 at 14:22
0

"The publisher did not restrict himself to classics. He did publish Shakespeare, but, at the same time, a few years later he published Christie too"

Here "at the same time" is an idiom means "conversely". So:

"The publisher did not restrict himself to classics. He did publish Shakespeare, but conversely he published Christie a few years later too."

So in the sentence the writer is using Shakespeare and Christie as opposites in some sense.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .