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    #1

    you were never any good at ...

    Hi

    Two brothers are talking.
    One said something to the other and the other one replied:

    You know you were never any good at telling your big brother what to do.

    --- Does it mean he never gave him good advice or something like this?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: you were never any good at ...

    For whatever reason, he wasn't good at telling him what to do. He was too shy, he was too intimidated, he knew he wouldn't be listened to anyway... who knows. He just didn't do it.

    It does NOT mean that he gave him advice, but the advice was bad.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: you were never any good at ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It does NOT mean that he gave him advice, but the advice was bad.
    Hi

    So could it mean: You know you always used to give your big brother bad advice.

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    #4

    Re: you were never any good at ...

    No. It means he never gave advice.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: you were never any good at ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    So could it mean: You know you always used to give your big brother bad advice.
    No, I tried to say explicitly that it does NOT mean that.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. apex2000's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: you were never any good at ...

    "You know you were never any good at telling your big brother what to do".

    As Barb D originally said there could be any number of reasons why one of them was 'never any good'. We cannot infer that he actually said anything, or if he did say something then that may not fall under the heading of advice (shut up, for example). Suppose that one asked for advice but the other just shrugged or mumbled incoherently. He was never able to say anything useful.

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