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  1. #1
    Nefertiti is offline Member
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    try so not to show

    Hi,

    "Now it took time for me to know
    what you tried so not to show"

    1. Is it OK to add a few words to make the context above more understandable?
    For instance, "now it took time for me to know what you tried so hard not to show your feelings."

    2. Is "someone tries so hard not to show their feelings' a common usage pattern?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: try so not to show

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Hi,

    "Now it took time for me to know
    what you tried so not to show"

    1. Is it OK to add a few words to make the context above more understandable?
    For instance, "now it took time for me to know what you tried so hard not to show your feelings."
    The object of 'know' is 'what you tried not to show', so giving 'show' its own object is wrong. You could replace 'know', and say 'it took time for me to understand/appreciate/recognize/become aware of/become sensitive to the feelings that you tried so hard not to show' but you can't 'know a feeling' - well, not in that sense.
    2. Is "someone tries so hard not to show their feelings' a common usage pattern?

    Thanks
    I wouldn't call it common, but it's perfectly clear and a native speaker might say it. It's more common to say 'he keeps his feelings bottled up', or just 'he won't let it out'.

    (And your extra words are fine. I wish song-writers - they're usually the culprits - wouldn't use "so" to mean 'so much/hard'. One consequence of this is that 'so that' can become ambiguous.)

    b

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: try so not to show

    PS afterthought - Do a Google search for "middle voice". In 'let your feelings show' the 'object' of 'show' is 'feelings'; or it's subject is 'feelings', and what they show is their existence. Hmm... not an easy concept to explain...

    And an afterthought on the use of 'so' instead of anything clearer especially among song-writers:

    'So' gives scope for lots of rhymes. Just using the first 5 initials there are:
    ago
    although
    bow
    beau
    crow
    doe
    dough
    ego ...

    Whereas 'so hard' has very few (and not very useful ones) - card chard guard lard nard and simple past forms of some (often fairly obscure0 verbs - char, mar.

    And 'so much' is only useful for songs about rabbits (hutch) or chickens (clutch)...

    I loved you so strenuously
    But you reciprocated tenuously... [Doesn't really work ]

    b

  4. #4
    Nefertiti is offline Member
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    Re: try so not to show

    Hi, BK.

    "Now it took time for me to know
    what you tried so not to show"

    The words know, so and show rhyme. That's quite obvious, but my interests are more on the meanings of the lyrics.

    The song writer, Lobo, is American and he likes to use the following structure for his lyrics.

    What S. try so not to V. (S. = subject, V. = verb)

    1. I'd like to know the meaning of the structure. Please use very simple English to explain.

    2. Do you use it in British English?

    3. You may add a few words to make it clearer or add nothing.

    4. You may give some simple examples if you like.

    Lobo uses the same structure for his another song, Stoney.

    "No, I don't recollect the time
    I fell in love with this old friend of mine
    Or when I first saw in her eyes
    What she tried so not to hide "



    Thanks for your replies.

    Happy New Year!

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: try so not to show

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    ...
    1. I'd like to know the meaning of the structure. Please use very simple English to explain.
    It's just a subordinate clause ('what you tried so [hard] not to show') used as the object complement of the verb "know'.
    2. Do you use it in British English?
    Who do you mean by "you"? Some people do, especially bad lyricists (for reasons I explained), and people who quote cheap music.
    3. You may add a few words to make it clearer or add nothing.
    Read my posts; if they mean anything to you, good.

    4. You may give some simple examples if you like.
    That's big of you.
    ...
    (Excuse the brevity. )
    b
    Last edited by BobK; 02-Jan-2009 at 19:48.

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Re: try so not to show

    I think "tried hard not to hide" wouldn't make much sense to most of us.







  7. #7
    Nefertiti is offline Member
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    Re: try so not to show

    Hi, RB.

    When I first heard it, it didn't make too much sense to me either.

    Maybe, the writer was trying to say, what she tried so (that) not to hide rather than ....she tried so (hard) not to hide.

    Does a native speaker use "S. try so not to V" at all in their speech/writing?


    Thanks and Happy New Year

  8. #8
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    Re: try so not to show

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Does a native speaker use "S. try so not to V" at all in their speech/writing?

    It depends. You could say, for example:
    I am going to try not to let so and so find out about such and such.

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