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Old 08-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #271
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
Stictly "once" means "one time". Thus it most commonly refers to past events but can be used for present and future as in "I'm telling you once" and "I will tell you only once".

"I had once told my boss" means that previously to the past time being discussed I had told my boss once (and only once).

"I once told my boss" means just that. It happened some time in the past. Dropping the "had" takes away the sense of a past time being discussed. I think "had" makes the pluperfect -- describing actions in the past before the past.

"I had told my boss" means that previously to the past time being discussed I had told my boss (an unspecified number of times).
As catkin says, the past perfect aspect (had done, had told, generally had + the past participle form of a verb) is used to stress that something happened before other reference point in the past.

Eg:
Quote:
Before I left the house, I had closed all the windows.
(First I closed the windows and then I left the house)

It also appears in indirect speech when the verb in the original (reported) sentence is in the present perfect aspect:
Quote:
He said, "I have never done it before."
(Direct speech)
Quote:
He said he had never done it before.
(Indirect speech)
 
Old 08-21-2010, 02:16 PM   #272
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
^^ Are you equally fluent in Hindi too ?
If only -- I know very little Hindi. I am learning Tamil but, not spending much time on it, progress is embarrassingly slow.
 
Old 08-21-2010, 02:23 PM   #273
TheIndependentAquarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
If only -- I know very little Hindi.
I guessed so ... from your "location"

Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
I am learning Tamil but, not spending much time on it, progress is embarrassingly slow.
Are you really from India ??????
 
Old 08-21-2010, 02:28 PM   #274
TheIndependentAquarius
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sycamorex;

Thanks for the effort

So I should conclude the following quote is *technically* correct !
Quote:
I had once told my boss
 
Old 08-21-2010, 02:48 PM   #275
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
sycamorex;

Thanks for the effort

So I should conclude the following quote is *technically* correct !
Grammatically there's nothing wrong with it, but ideally you'd have to put it in some meaningful context, Otherwise, the version without 'had' would be preferrable.


Quote:
Marion resigned from her job (last week). She had once told me that she didn't get on well with her boss. (anytime BEFORE last week)
If you're in doubt I think it's better to use the simple past version (I said, I did, I wrote, etc) The past perfect aspect (had said, had done, had written) is used to emphasise that something happened before something else.
 
Old 08-21-2010, 02:53 PM   #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
If you're in doubt I think it's better to use the simple past version (I said, I did, I wrote, etc) The past perfect aspect (had said, had done, had written) is used to emphasise that something happened before something else.
I'll keep that in mind from now on
 
Old 10-19-2010, 06:28 AM   #277
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Do the following statements convey *exactly* the same meaning ?
Which statement is used in what context ?

Quote:
I don't fancy doing X
Quote:
I don't prefer doing X

Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 10-19-2010 at 06:34 AM. Reason: typo
 
Old 10-19-2010, 06:48 AM   #278
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I would use the latter in a more casual conversation. "I don't fancy doing X", I think, is a bit more "formal", or something to that effect...I know I don't use it in normal conversation.

But yes, they do (more or less) convey the same thing.
 
Old 10-19-2010, 07:04 AM   #279
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
Are you really from India ??????
Sorry Anisha, I didn't see your post until just now. I was born in UK, spent most of my life there and have been living in India for ~6 years.
 
Old 10-19-2010, 07:07 AM   #280
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
If you're in doubt I think it's better to use the simple past version (I said, I did, I wrote, etc) The past perfect aspect (had said, had done, had written) is used to emphasise that something happened before something else.
Simple is always good but IMHO the past perfect is used to convey that something happened before something else.
 
Old 10-19-2010, 07:17 AM   #281
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
Do the following statements convey *exactly* the same meaning ?
Which statement is used in what context ?
IMHO the "fancy" form is informal because it is unlikely to be exactly what is meant; "fancy" has a sense of imagination, capriciousness or romanticism.

The other form implies that X is preferred over something else so should only be used when there is an alternative; I prefer doing X to (doing) Y.

The first is perfectly acceptable, speaking colloquially; the latter sounds awkward to the native speaker.

How about KISS: "I don't want to do X"?
 
Old 10-19-2010, 08:15 AM   #282
brianL
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"Fancy" can mean "like". MrCode's got it the wrong way round - "fancy" is more informal.
"I don't fancy doing X" = "I wouldn't like to do X"
Quote:
I don't prefer doing X
Better: "I would prefer not to do X". Implies you'd rather do something else.
 
Old 10-19-2010, 10:08 PM   #283
TheIndependentAquarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
Sorry Anisha, I didn't see your post until just now. I was born in UK, spent most of my life there and have been living in India for ~6 years.
Wow, so you had not seen that post till now ????? And all this while I was thinking that I have offended you somehow by that question !!

and thank you for you the informative English lesson.

Quote:
How about KISS: "I don't want to do X"?
This sounds somewhat too straight forward to me. I use these kind of straight statements when I am not interested in continuing the talks further.
 
Old 10-19-2010, 10:13 PM   #284
TheIndependentAquarius
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Thank you Oldhamer, though you were a bit late and made me wait.

Mr. Code,
Do you think it was "pre-determined" that yours would be the first reply to my above question ?

Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 10-19-2010 at 10:20 PM.
 
Old 10-19-2010, 10:19 PM   #285
TheIndependentAquarius
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New questions

  • I have been taught in schools that stranger is a synonym of unknown person. Is this correct ? If not, then what does stranger mean ?


  • Does the following statement mean that it is no longer a nice experience ? If yes, then how should I phrase this statement so that it conveys the opposite meaning ?
    Quote:
    Talking to you has been a nice experience till now
 
  


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