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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 251
    #1

    Smile if you couldn't tell

    Hello.

    If you couldn't tell, it's my first day in the hospital.
    ("I" had a terrible day in the hospital that day.)

    Does this underlined phrase mean "I think you can't believe it" or something?

    Thank you.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • English
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      • Australia
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #2

    Re: if you couldn't tell

    Quote Originally Posted by frindle View Post
    Hello.

    If you couldn't tell, it's my first day in the hospital.
    ("I" had a terrible day in the hospital that day.)

    Does this underlined phrase mean "I think you can't believe it" or something?

    Thank you.
    Your sentence doesn't sound right. It would be better as either:
    1. If you can't tell, it's my first day in the hospital.
    2. If you couldn't tell, it was my first day in the hospital.

    It means something like "In case you don't/didn't realise ..."
    "Tell" in this case means to realise, to discern, to understand, to infer.
    "I couldn't tell you were American" = I didn't know just from looking at you that you were American, and there was no other evidence to make me think you were."

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