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  1. #1
    Encolpius is offline Junior Member
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    Default My car wouldn't start this morning.

    Hello, can I say My car didn't want to start this morning, too? Do those two sentences mean the same? thanks.

  2. #2
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: My car wouldn't start this morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Encolpius View Post
    Hello, can I say My car didn't want to start this morning, too? Do those two sentences mean the same? thanks.
    Hello, I am a learner, not a teacher,

    It is the same for me, but maybe an English can see a difference.

    Have a nice day.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: My car wouldn't start this morning.

    Yes and no.

    Cars are not people, and they cannot "want" or "not want" to do anything. So no, technically you should not say it did not "want" to start.

    However, in real life, we do sometimes feel like these objects are acting a certain way "on purpose" -- even though we do know that it's not at all true.

    I feel that way about about a certain photocopier. It "knew" when I was in a rush and always "chose" to get a paper jam. Of course I know that's nonsense, but I would still sometimes describe it that way.

    So yes, in fact, you can say the car didn't want to start, as long as you chose to say it that way thinking of the car in human terms, not just as a bad English substitution.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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