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This is from the BBC Travel to Moon see the video 1:25-1:40

"We are looking to go live on the moon and then hopefully use the Moon as a launchpad to take us onwards, deeper into the solar system to say Mars."

At the end of the sentence, ".....to say Mars" sounds interesting. I looked it up but could not be quite sure about its meaning. I think It might mean 2 things according to the context.

So, what does it mean? Does it mean "for example" or does it mean "namely"?

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    The parse is: deeper in the solar system to, say, Mars. say=for example, but it requires the proper punctuation.
    – Lambie
    Dec 24, 2022 at 19:45
  • @Lambie, so you say "to" and "say" are not together and that "to" belongs to the sentence. I could not understand. Why do we need a "to" at the end of that sentence? Without a "to" in there, the sentence would still be correct, wouldn't it? "...take us onwards, deeper in the solar system".
    – Yunus
    Dec 24, 2022 at 19:49
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    to take us deeper into the solar system to Mars. That is without "say". It would not be right without the to. to take someone to a place. The word say is often inserted into sentences to mean for example.//We could go to, say, the park.//Why are people downvoting this perfectly legitimate question?? This is not obvious to a non-native, for heaven's sake...
    – Lambie
    Dec 24, 2022 at 20:18
  • @Lambie, Ahhhh I see it now. I completely understood. You explained it perfectly.
    – Yunus
    Dec 24, 2022 at 20:24
  • @Lambie Do you plan to write an answer? If not, I'd be willing to write one. Yunus: If you don't need an answer anymore, please delete the question, because otherwise it will be left open (which the system doesn't like). Dec 24, 2022 at 22:32

2 Answers 2

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The parse is: deeper in the solar system to, say, Mars.
say means for example but it requires the proper punctuation, as has now been provided.

to take us deeper into the solar system to Mars. That is without "say". It would not be right without the to. to take someone to a place. The word say is often inserted into sentences to mean for example.//

  • We could go to, say, the park.

In imitation of speech, the "say", it set off between commas.

By the way, in AmE speech, it is sometimes at the beginning of a question but then does not mean for example. It's more like "by the way".

  • Say, why don't you go and pick up your sister at school?
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You could punctutuate this as "... to (say) Mars."

This use of the word say (wiktionary calls it an adverb) means "for example".

It comes from an expression like "Shall we agree to say the name of the deeper location in the solar system is Mars?". It is used this way to introduce an example used as an assumption.

If we are going to, say, Mars, we will need some way to travel through interplanetary space without freezing.

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  • I've never seen it as (say) in a spoken utterance.
    – Lambie
    Dec 26, 2022 at 17:15

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