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To be , you are fooling yourself Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:49:03 PM
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Joined: 11/3/2016
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If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.
I saw this quote on Facebook.
Please explain to me the grammatical form and function of "to be" and the use of present progressive in "you are fooling yourself"?
thar
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 3:54:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
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The structure in the first part is the same as the structure in the second part.
If you have understood one, then you have the other.

In a perfect world, where every good action is rewarded equally:

The world is fair to you because you are fair.
The lion doesn't eat you because you don't eat the lion.


But of course that is not the real world. If you expect that, you are an idiot.
Now you are adding g the verb 'to expect'.

It is like 'to want' - it takes an infinitive phrase:
If you want something to happen...

If you expect the world to be fair...

This is static, a state of mind - simple present.


...You are fooling yourself.
To fool yourself is a dynamic verb - an action.
So, if you want to talk about a continuing state, you know you can't use the simple present. What do you have to use? Progressive.


If you expect this to happen, then you are fooling yourself.
If you expect the the world to be fair.......then you are fooling yourself.

hedy mmm
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 4:07:45 PM

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Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
'No expectations...no disappointments' is my adage.


"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:30:08 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 461
Neurons: 2,631
Thanks
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 3:54:40 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 461
Neurons: 2,631
Can we use simple present- you fool yourself?
How would that change the meaning or grammatically wrong?
thar
Posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 4:12:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,011
Neurons: 59,569
You could, but it would make it sound more general - like a habit, something that always happens.

It makes it sound like a quote, not advice to a person.

If you look at famous quotes or aphorisms, you will find they are often in the simple present - something that is always true a general truth.

Using the progressive makes it sound more like advice to a person, about what they are doing right now.

eg
always true, a fact
the sun shines

observation, what is happening
the sun is shining

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