“Stop torturing that poor metaphor." Akechi debated shoving Ren aside, weighing the mood between them now against the mood of his empty apartment. "I'm not up for billiards tonight."

What is the meaning of "debated" in the bold text above? I have two options:

  1. it means "argued", or "retorted", and Akechi is shoving Ren aside as he is talking.

  2. it means "consider". Akechi is not actually shoving Ren aside (yet) and is just considering doing so.

The other point I want to ask is, if it is the first meaning, shall we say:

Akechi debated, shoving Ren aside.

i.e. is the "comma" grammatically required, or it can be ommitted.

  • 1
    Debate "2: to turn over in one's mind : to think about (something, such as different options) in order to decide"
    – Stuart F
    Feb 10 at 14:31
  • 1
    There seems to be some punctuation missing one way or another. Something is needed after "metaphor." I suspect it's a period, so that what follows is a new sentence. When I first read it I imagined it as a comma, along the lines of "'Stop it,' Billy shouted." I was going to say that in that case "debated" was a bad word choice. Please check and edit to add any missing punctuation from the source. Feb 10 at 15:19
  • @AndyBonner the missing full stop is added. In this case, it is a new sentence after the quote...
    – xrfang
    Feb 10 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


Normally "debate" is between two people, or two groups of people. But, in an extended meaning, you can also have an "internal debate". This means you consider both possibilities, and think about which one is better.

So you could paraphrase this as "Akechi thought about whether to shove Ren aside or not". That is your second alternative.

"Weighing up" is another way to describe an internal debate.

You must log in to answer this question.

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