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  1. #1
    peter123 is offline Senior Member
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    wanted

    Hi there,
    The following script is extracted from a video.

    Hi, I'm Randall, and I just wanted to share with you three ideas on how to exercise better. Number one, choose something that you enjoy. If you like running, run. If you like lifting weights, do that as well.

    Why did the speaker use the past form of 'wanted' instead of 'want' ?

    tks
    pete

  2. #2
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: wanted

    ----- I am not an ESL teacher -----

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
    Hi there,
    The following script is extracted from a video.

    Hi, I'm Randall, and I just wanted to share with you three ideas on how to exercise better. Number one, choose something that you enjoy. If you like running, run. If you like lifting weights, do that as well.

    Why did the speaker use the past form of 'wanted' instead of 'want' ?

    tks
    pete

    Well, he could have used the present 'want' form here, no problem.
    Did you hear clearly he say 'wanted'?

    The past tense here is used to express a kind of indirectness, some uncertainty, something like: "If you let me, I will share with you ... "
    Have you ever wondered why we say for example:
    "I would like to say something ... " instead of the more direct
    "I want to say something ... " ?

    I guess in you example, "I just wanted to share ... " stands for
    "I would like to share ..."


    Remarkably, a google search of "just wanted to say" produced more hits than "just want to say." On the other hand, without the word 'just', a google search of "wanted to say" returned less hits than "want to say."

  3. #3
    crazYgeeK is offline Member
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    Re: wanted

    I think 'just wanted to share' should be 'have just wanted to share'
    Did you hear or see the sentence 'I just wanted to share' ?
    'just wanted to' may be a kind of short expression of 'have just wanted to' , the tense here must to be understood as present perfect not past simple. I think this kind of expression is usually used in speaking and rarely used in writing.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    I think 'just wanted to say' should be 'have just wanted to say'
    I think otherwise.

  5. #5
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    I think 'just wanted to share' should be 'have just wanted to share'
    I think otherwise.
    Me too. I agree with corum.


    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    I think 'just wanted to share' should be 'have just wanted to share'
    The speaker could have used 'I have just wanted to share ... ' by the end of the program, or by the end of his advises, reviewing what he had just done. I mean, when you say 'I have just wanted to share ... ' it expresses explicitly a past idea, while 'I just wanted to share ... ' may express a present idea.

    In peter123's example 'I wanted to share' is a somewhat more indirect way of saying 'I want to share'.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: wanted

    The past tense is often used in this situation. It explains why the person is doing what they doing. The idea to do it was obviously in the past.

    Juliet: Why did you climb over our fence?
    Romeo: I wanted to see you. I had to see you.
    [I still want to see you]
    Juliet: Do you know what time it is?
    Romeo: I know, It's 3am. But I needed to talk to you.


    The guy on the video is implicitly answering questions like:
    "Why did you make this video? Why have you put so much work into this?" etc.
    The 'just' in "I just wanted to share with you ..." means that there are no other sinister reasons for the video.
    All I wanted to do in this video is share some ideas with you. So here I am sharing them ..."

    It also plays a 'polite' function, like using "could" instead of "can" and "would" instead of "will". A related concept is that saying what you want implies more of a letdown if you're rejected than saying what you wanted. You therefore make it easier for a person to reject you politely, since they're technically saying 'no' to a past need rather than a present one.

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