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Thread: Could I ever imagine...

  1. #1
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    Could I ever imagine...

    How can I say "Could I ever imagine that I will be / become a president?" I have much doubt about the sequence of tenses. I think the sentence is wrong, but have no idea how to correct it.

    And another question:
    Is the sentence "She's a stranger to me" correct and idiomatic? What I'm trying to say is "Она мне чужая" in Russian.

    Please, correct my other mistakes in this post. Thanks.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Could I ever imagine...

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    How can I say "Could I ever imagine that I will be / become a president?" I have much doubt about the sequence of tenses. I think the sentence is wrong, but have no idea how to correct it.

    Not sure exactly what you want to say. (Can you write it in Russian to clarify?) But I assume it is, "Can I ever imagine that I will become president?" But I think you are trying to say, "I would/could never imagine that I would/could be/become president!"

    Would/could depending on what point you are trying to make. Would = it happened somehow. Could = you were able to do it.


    And another question:
    Is the sentence "She's a stranger to me" correct and idiomatic? What I'm trying to say is "Она мне чужая" in Russian.

    Yes, it's perfect!

    Please, correct my other mistakes in this post. Thanks.

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    Re: Could I ever imagine...

    Quote Originally Posted by ZelyeUrsuli
    Not sure exactly what you want to say. (Can you write it in Russian to clarify?) But I assume it is, "Can I ever imagine that I will become president?" But I think you are trying to say, "I would/could never imagine that I would/could become president!"

    Would/could depending on what point you are trying to make. Would = it happened somehow. Could = you were able to do it.
    In Russian:
    Мог ли я (когда-нибудь) представить, что я буду президентом?

    That means that I (in the past; for example, when I was a child) could never imagine that I can be a president in the future. But I'd like to avoid the verb "can" (can/could be a president). How can I sat that? Maybe this sentence is correct:
    "Could I ever imagine that I would be a president"?.....
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Could I ever imagine...

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    In Russian:
    Мог ли я (когда-нибудь) представить, что я буду президентом?

    That means that I (in the past; for example, when I was a child) could never imagine that I can be a president in the future. But I'd like to avoid the verb "can" (can/could be a president). How can I sat that? Maybe this sentence is correct:
    "Could I ever imagine that I would be a president"?.....
    Could I have ever imagined that I would become the president?
    could . . . 3. modal v indicating possible past situation: used to indicate a possible situation in the past that did not happen
    We could have gone.
    Encarta(R) World English Dictionary [North American Edition] (2007) http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/could.html
    become . . . 1. intransitive verb come to be something: to change or develop into something
    Encarta(R) World English Dictionary [North American Edition] (2007) http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/become.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Is the sentence "She's a stranger to me" correct and idiomatic? What I'm trying to say is "Она мне чужая" in Russian.
    Your English sentence is correct but depending on context can have different meanings, including this one:
    stranger . . . 6. alienated person: somebody who has become distanced or alienated from somebody or something
    She is a stranger to her former colleagues.
    Encarta(R) World English Dictionary [North American Edition] (2007) http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/stranger.html

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    Thanks, Ken. Could you, please, check this one too:
    Could I have ever imagined that I would have to be a baby-sitter?

    Is the "be" incorrect here, either? I mean that I'm not actually a baby-sitter, but I have to be it, temporarily.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Thanks, Ken. Could you, please, check this one too:
    Could I have ever imagined that I would have to be a baby-sitter?

    Is the "be" incorrect here, also? I mean that I'm not actually a baby-sitter, but I have to be it, temporarily.
    It's OK, and yes, the "be" sounds OK to me, but I would delete the hyphen "-", and write babysitter: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/babysitter
    It isn't that "be" was wrong in the sentence about the president, it is just that "become" seemed to fit that situtation better.

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    I think it is better to say "I could never have imagined that I would be president/be a baby sitter."

    Saying it as a question sounds a touch awkward to me...

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    IMO

    "Could I ever have imagined..." is better than "Could I have ever imagined..."

    And if phrased as a statement as ZelyeUrsuli suggested then "I would never have..." is better than "I could never have..."

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    Thanks everyone very much
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Could I ever imagine...

    [quote=Ken Watts]
    Quote Originally Posted by "Оля":244jgvel
    In Russian:
    Мог ли я (когда-нибудь) представить, что я буду президентом?

    That means that I (in the past; for example, when I was a child) could never imagine that I can be a president in the future. But I'd like to avoid the verb "can" (can/could be a president). How can I sat that? Maybe this sentence is correct:
    "Could I ever imagine that I would be a president"?.....
    Could I have ever imagined that I would become the president?
    [/quote:244jgvel]

    I think "become president" without an article sounds better.
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

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