The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

didn't think someone would Options
navi
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 3:31:25 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/2014
Posts: 321
Neurons: 3,065
Are these sentences correct:

1) I couldn't believe someone wouldn't scream when they saw my scars, but he didn't.
2) I didn't believe someone wouldn't scream when they saw my scars, but he didn't.

Meaning:
I thought anyone would scream when they saw my scars. But he didn't.

Gratefully,
Navi.
Romany
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 5:51:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,395
Neurons: 40,818
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Navi,

Replacing 'anyone' with 'someone' simply doesn't work.

But it isn't just that which springs to mind - it's that it makes both sentences so complicated. One has to stop, roll the sentence around in ones mind a little to unravel it. And then maybe read it one more time again.

So yes, both sentences pretty much relay the sense of the original. They could exist. But they aren't usable because, as is so often referred to: the point of language is to make it as easy as possible to quickly understand what's being said.
navi
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 7:08:24 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/2014
Posts: 321
Neurons: 3,065
Thank you very much, Romany,

What if I take out the negatives?

Would these work:

3) I didn't believe someone could refrain from screaming when they saw my scars, but he did.
4) I didn't believe anyone could refrain from screaming when they saw my scars, but he did.

Gratefully,
Navi.
Romany
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 7:13:09 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,395
Neurons: 40,818
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

As I said, replacing 'anyone' with 'someone' just doesn't work.

Number 4) is perfect.
(When speaking it we would emphasis 'he', so in casual writing we'd be free to italicise, bold, or underline 'he' to represent that emphasis.)
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.