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    #1

    Are these sentences natural? December 15

    Hi,

    Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

    1. People really donít give a damn about what people, outside their field, do to earn their living.

    2. If I were to meet you five years ago I wouldn't give a flying **** to the fact that you were/are a systems administrator.

    3. They would refer to all other professions as clerks. ( I was talking about some old folks)

    Thanks,
    MG.

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Are these sentences natural? December 15

    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    Hi,

    Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

    1. People really donít give a damn about what people, outside their field, do to earn their living. I'd say: People really donít give a damn about what folks, outside their field, do to earn a living.

    2. If I were to meet you five years ago I wouldn't give a flying **** to the fact that you were/are a systems administrator.Had I met you five years ago, I wouldn't have given a flying **** about the fact that you were a systems administrator.

    3. They would refer to all other professions as clerks. ( I was talking about some old folks) Looks OK.

    Thanks,
    MG.
    John

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    #3

    Re: Are these sentences natural? December 15

    I agree with John Paris on #2 and #3. For me, your #1 would be fine - without the commas.
    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    1. People really donít give a damn about what people, outside their field, do to earn their living.

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    #4

    Question Re: Are these sentences natural? December 15

    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    2. If I were to meet you five years ago I wouldn't give a flying **** to the fact that you were/are a systems administrator.
    How about, "Were I to have met you five years ago, I wouldn't have given a flying **** about the fact that you were a systems administrator."?
    How does it sound? It seems to be fine to me, but I still have doubts about using a sentence like that. Is this structure, "were I + infinitive/perfect infinitive" still used to express conditionality? Or is it obsolete/stilted?

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