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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #1

    2 questions, please

    Dear teachers,

    1st question:
    "You're lucky it wasn't worse."

    Which of the following does this normally mean?
    1. You are lucky it wasn't worse.
    2. You were lucky it wasn't worse.
    If it could mean both, are they both grammatically correct as well?


    2nd question:
    To say that you do not believe what you see or hear or were told, which would be more natural to use?
    1. I don't believe it.
    2. I don't believe that.

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: 2 questions, please

    Both are correct. The first one depends entirely on context, because 're is a contraction for both are and were.

    In the second set, "I don't believe it" is an expression of general incredulousness. "I don't believe that" is a bit more argumentative, suggesting that you have a different thought or interpretation. Example: "He died" - "I don't believe it!" (you really aren't questioning the fact of his death, just that it's hard to comprehend) whereas "I don't believe that" suggests you think perhaps he is in hiding somewhere, kidnapped, or the like.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: 2 questions, please

    I'm sorry, but I don't agree that "you're" is also for "you were."

    In quick speech, we do say "you-ere" (sounds like "ewer") but while "you're" is an accepted written form for "you are" it's not for "you were." At least, not that I know of.

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    #4

    Re: 2 questions, please

    You're right, Barb. It's only in speech that it sounds like that. Thanks for catching that.

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