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So far my ideas were: started, mused

The context: [[The narrator, born and raised in the States, is visiting her family in a foreign country for the first time. She and her cousin are at a shopping mall.]]

In the middle of my explanation of dating norms in the States, he tsked at me and asked, “Why you walk so fast?"

“Don’t tell me you're too tired to keep up, now!” was my playful reply, but I paused. Why indeed? I explained hesitantly, “I guess this is how fast I normally walk. We have seven minutes between classes at my school, and it's a big building.”

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closed as off topic by tchrist, Mark Beadles, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, FumbleFingers, Lynn Jan 2 '13 at 4:23

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This is more about writing style, try Writers.SE. –  Mark Beadles Jan 2 '13 at 2:57
    
this is on topic and a valid usage question. it is about selecting the correct collocation, and not a matter of style. –  jlovegren Jan 2 '13 at 3:00
    
Hesitantly is contradictory in this context. The speaker is walking fast, so why would he/she stammer out a hesitant explanation? Drop the adverb of manner and say either explained without modification or, perhaps, use sputtered, which a fast walker might do in the middle of a between-classes trot. –  user21497 Jan 2 '13 at 3:17
    
@jlovegren: I think it is about style, but I also think that Qs about style are almost always Qs about usage. In any case, the kind of style Qs and advice on Writers.SE, suggested by Mark Beadles, really doesn't fit this kind of basic Q. –  user21497 Jan 2 '13 at 3:22
    
Whether 'hesitantly' is the correct usage in this circumstance is open to debate. But to answer your direct question: I can think of no singular verb that means "to explain hesitantly". –  Lynn Jan 2 '13 at 3:26

1 Answer 1

The situation is that you have urged someone to walk faster, and after a few seconds' consideration it strikes you as an unusual request, so you feel a need to explain yourself. You wouldn't have had to explain yourself if you had been tactful from the start, so you want to give the impression to the reader that you are a considerate person at heart, but don't have as much foresight as you wish you had. Say

I hastened to add/explain/clarify...

because really the delay is not hesitation, it's a product of you thinking about what you just said, and so you have to quickly clarify before the person has a chance to feel insulted.

The meaning you are looking for seems a bit too specific to have its own verb, but one never knows...

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+1 for hastened to explain. Good choice and eloquent. –  Kristina Lopez Jan 2 '13 at 3:38

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