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Thread: can't see???

  1. #1
    Wesley P is offline Newbie
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    Default can't see???

    Hi guys... I've got another one.

    now I'm wondering about the meaning of "can't see" in the following sentence.

    Sara can't see paying so much money for a car.

    Now I have the impression that Sara can't imagine herself buying such an expensive car.

    please correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm missing something.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: can't see???

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley P View Post
    Hi guys... I've got another one.

    now I'm wondering about the meaning of "can't see" in the following sentence.

    Sara can't see paying so much money for a car.

    Now I have the impression that Sara can't imagine herself buying such an expensive car.

    please correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm missing something.

    Many thanks.
    You are correct in your interpretation.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: can't see???

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley P View Post
    Hi guys... I've got another one.

    now I'm wondering about the meaning of "can't see" in the following sentence.

    Sara can't see paying so much money for a car.

    Now I have the impression that Sara can't imagine herself buying such an expensive car.

    please correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm missing something.

    Many thanks.
    That's not a good sentence where I come from. "See" needs a direct object.
    "Sara said she couldn't see herself paying so much money for a car."
    "I can't see Sara paying so much money for a car."

    With 'imagine', you don't need a direct object: "Sara can't imagine paying so much money for a car".

  4. #4
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: can't see???

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    That's not a good sentence where I come from. "See" needs a direct object.
    "Sara said she couldn't see herself paying so much money for a car."
    "I can't see Sara paying so much money for a car."

    With 'imagine', you don't need a direct object: "Sara can't imagine paying so much money for a car".
    "Paying" in the original example is a gerund used as a noun and therefore the object of the sentence.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: can't see???

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    "Paying" in the original example is a gerund used as a noun and therefore the object of the sentence.
    OK, I understand the grammar, but I've never heard this construction. Maybe it's American?

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: can't see???

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I've never heard this construction. Maybe it's American?
    I have heard it, but not from speakers of BrE, I think. I would produce the original utterance as, "Sara can't see herself paying so much money for a car".

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: can't see???

    I haven't come across it in BrE either, so it is looking like AmE so far.

  8. #8
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    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: can't see???

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I haven't come across it in BrE either, so it is looking like AmE so far.
    It's frequently heard in AmE. "Let's go to another restaurant; I can't see waiting that long for a table here."

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