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Thread: the use of find

  1. #1
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Default the use of find

    Can I say "I found that" to mean "I noticed that" or "I realized that"?
    "that" in this case is just a pronoun, not a clause.

    I need the answer very soon.

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: the use of find

    .
    It would be much easier to answer your question if more context were given, Yoshio. What sentence(s) came before and/or after your sentence? (Or what do you imagine would be written before/after?)
    .
    Generally speaking, I'd say you shouldn't use 'find' in such a short sentence to mean 'realize' or 'notice'. But, depending on the context, it might be OK.
    .
    Last edited by Philly; 25-Aug-2006 at 13:56.

  3. #3
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: the use of find

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    Can I say "I found that" to mean "I noticed that" or "I realized that"?
    "that" in this case is just a pronoun, not a clause.

    I need the answer very soon.

    Thank you for your help.
    I think I see the meaning you're suggesting, Yoshio. What do you think, Philly?

    A: Don't you think that John is bored by his job.

    B: Yes, I've found that [to be the case].

  4. #4
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: the use of find

    Hi riverkid
    .
    Yes, I think your example is OK. I'd still like to hear a more detailed explanation of what Yoshio had in mind, though. It seems to me that suggesting that found is that easily interchangeable with realized or noticed could lead to trouble.
    .
    Let's face it, no native speaker would ever assume that the intended meaning of found is realized or noticed in Yoshio's sentence. Only further context (or maybe a longer sentence) would lead to that sort of understanding.
    .

  5. #5
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: the use of find

    Hello to you too, Philly.

    I agree wholeheartedly that context is crucial in determining grammatical choice and meaning.

    In this case, Yoshio asked 'can', meaning 'Is it possible?

    Please don't think that I'm blaming you for anything but this native speaker saw that meaning in Yoshio's example.

    Sometimes, especially when the context isn't rich enough, it's really easy for any ENL to miss a potential meaning. I do it all the time.

    Cheers.

  6. #6
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: the use of find

    Hi riverkid
    .
    This native speaker saw the potential as well. But both native speakers here were tipped off in advance as to the intended meaning, weren't we?
    .
    But, actually, you seem to have missed my point. My difficulty was not in thinking of an example similar to yours (i.e., with some changes and also context added). That wasn't the problem. My reluctance came from Yoshio's original (actual) sentence: "I found that."
    .
    What I've found is that telling people "Yes, you can" based on no context and a 3-word sentence that could have any number of meanings is dangerous with language learners.
    .
    I'd hate to think that Yoshio might wrongly conclude that "I found that." would also be an appropriate response to a sentence such as "The Smiths finally cut down that rotting tree in their front yard."
    .
    I think you'll agree that "I noticed that." or even "I realized that." would be appropriate responses to that sentence. But saying "I found that." would definitely be weird in that context.
    .
    Thus my question about context.
    .

  7. #7
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: the use of find

    A point well taken and well made, Philly.

  8. #8
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Talking Re: the use of find

    Thank you two for your sincere responces, Philly and riverkid.
    And I regret not having given a longer example sentence. Sorry about that.

    What I wanted to mean is as follows

    A: When did you find that the man is innocent?
    B: I found that when I heard the account of an eyewitness. She seemed to be telling a lie.

    It seems to me "that" in this dialogue is similar to "that" used in riverkid's example so is it possible to use "I found that" in the above dialogue?

    Sorry if the dialogue is not natural. I made up the dialogue.

    It is often the case that an English word can be translated in many ways in Japanese and vice versa. And at that time I usually try to connect the meaning of the word to other English words, without thinking much about the use of them, I have to say.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your help and I'm sorry I didn't reply very soon.

  9. #9
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: the use of find

    Hi Yoshio

    You've chosen a context in which the verb find is typically used, but I wouldn't use it the way you used it. The usage in this context is fairly fixed. In a jury trial, the jury has to find the defendant either guilty or not guilty. This happens at the end of the trial. So, asking "when" (as in your example) sounds odd. Finding in this context comes only after all the evidence has been given and then weighed by the jury. Finally the jury draws a conclusion and finds the person guilty or not:

    A: What was the verdict?
    B: The jury found him not guilty.

    I found the verb find awkward in your example. I think the verb know would have worked much better.

    Here is another example for find:

    A: I found the book very difficult to read.
    B: Yes, I found that, too.

    Amy

  10. #10
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: the use of find

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    Can I say "I found that" to mean "I noticed that" or "I realized that"?
    "that" in this case is just a pronoun, not a clause.

    I need the answer very soon.

    Thank you for your help.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    Thank you two for your sincere responces, Philly and riverkid.
    And I regret not having given a longer example sentence. Sorry about that.

    Not to worry, Yoshio.

    What I wanted it to mean is as follows

    A: When did you find that the man is innocent?
    B: I found that when I heard the account of an eyewitness. She seemed to be telling a lie.

    I think that your dialogue would be more natural, Yoshio, if the 'finding out' was much more certain. "Find out" has a meaning of clearly discovering something. I think that the tentativeness [ "she seemed to be ...] makes it seem odd.

    I also feel that the verb needed in this example dialogue is 'find something out' and the meaning is more like "I discovered that". [For the difference, see discussion below]


    Reporter: When did you discover [find out] that your client is innocent?

    Private Detective: I found that out last week when his wife showed me a picture of them together at a restaurant in Hawaii. Pretty hard for a man to rob a bank when he's in Hawaii and the bank is in New York.

    [OR, it could also be "I found out" with no 'that']



    It seems to me "that" in this dialogue is similar to "that" used in riverkid's example so is it possible to use "I found that" in the above dialogue?

    There's a difference in usage between "I found that" and "I found that out". Let me see if an example will suffice to show the difference.

    A: Don always wants to have things done his way.

    B: Yes, I've found that too. [= I realized that; I noticed that]





    Sorry if the dialogue is not natural. I made up the dialogue.

    It is often the case that an English word can be translated in many ways in Japanese and vice versa. And at that time I usually try to connect the meaning of the word to other English words, without thinking much about the use of them, I have to say.

    I understand completely, Yoshio. I watched students struggle with this problem for many a year. Ganbatte!!
    x

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