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  1. #1
    CJ 4 life is offline Newbie
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    Default It's not working out

    Hi, here's the context (from a movie): the boss and one of his boys are about to leave the house to take care of some business (criminal activity), when Evan, a third person, says:"Hold on, guys. I want to come too". But the boss and his boy don't want him to come (because Evan is a pain in the neck) so the boy says:"Piss off, Evan. This is work. It's not working out".
    Why is he using "it's not working out" to refere to the future? Shouldn't it be:"It's not going to work out" (or, as an alternative, "it won't work out")?
    So I'm wondering if the present continuous can be used to express a prediction, along with "going to" and "will".
    P.S. It's American English.

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: It's not working out

    I guess Evan was inexperienced in whatever was their criminal activity, but was well-built. Thay said that what they were about to do wasn't "working out" which means what you do in a gym, but it was "work". It sounds similar but makes a great difference when there's so much at stake. Just a play on words. But please wait for confirmation.

  3. #3
    CJ 4 life is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: It's not working out

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I guess Evan was inexperienced in whatever was their criminal activity, but was well-built. Thay said that what they were about to do wasn't "working out" which means what you do in a gym, but it was "work". It sounds similar but makes a great difference when there's so much at stake. Just a play on words. But please wait for confirmation.
    You're so right!!!!! I got it all wrong!!! I'm sorry...
    Anyway, is it possible to use the present continuous to express a prediction? For example, is it possible to say:"Computers are never replacing teachers" ?

  4. #4
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: It's not working out

    Well, as I already am in this thread, I'll answer that I don't think so. At least your example doesn't sound right. But again, please wait for someone to confirm this.

  5. #5
    CJ 4 life is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: It's not working out

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I agree with the notion that the discussion is about physical exercise versus actual work. As to your question - No, not the in the manner you wrote the sample.

    Computers are never going to replace teachers.
    Then why in a forum of another site I asked exactly the same question and an American speaker just like you told me that the statement "Computers are never replacing teachers", though not formal, is conversational?

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    Default Re: It's not working out

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ 4 life View Post
    Then why in a forum of another site I asked exactly the same question and an American speaker just like you told me that the statement "Computers are never replacing teachers", though not formal, is conversational?
    I have to agree with that other poster; it sounds informal but perfectly natural.

  7. #7
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: It's not working out

    It doesnīt sound natural to me, but thatīs beside the point. It just isnīt correct.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: It's not working out

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ 4 life View Post
    Hi, here's the context (from a movie): the boss and one of his boys are about to leave the house to take care of some business (criminal activity), when Evan, a third person, says:"Hold on, guys. I want to come too". But the boss and his boy don't want him to come (because Evan is a pain in the neck) so the boy says:"Piss off, Evan. This is work. It's not working out".
    Why is he using "it's not working out" to refere to the future? Shouldn't it be:"It's not going to work out" (or, as an alternative, "it won't work out")?
    So I'm wondering if the present continuous can be used to express a prediction, along with "going to" and "will".
    P.S. It's American English.
    Back to the original question (above) and BC's response to it: I guess Evan was inexperienced in whatever was their criminal activity, but was well-built. Thay said that what they were about to do wasn't "working out" which means what you do in a gym, but it was "work". It sounds similar but makes a great difference when there's so much at stake. Just a play on words.

    That is indeed one interpretation. My own interpretation, which would involve different stress patterns was that in "it isn't working out", it referred to the criminal-activity relationship. The speaker was saying that this relationship was not proving successful.

    If we could hear the dialogue, it would be easier to say which of the two was intended. When we have only the written form, it is impossible to be sure (though BC's version sound more likely to me every time I re-read the dialogue).
    Last edited by 5jj; 16-Oct-2010 at 15:38.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: It's not working out

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    It doesnīt sound natural to me, but thatīs beside the point. It just isnīt correct.
    Really?

    I would agree that, with no other context Computers are never replacing teachers seems to me a little strange, whereas Computers are never going to replace computers seems natural.

    However, how about this?:

    A: Have you heard about what's happening at X School next month? They're replacing all the teachers by computers.
    B: What? Computers are never replacing teachers! That's terrible!

    If that 'just isn't correct', can you explain why?

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