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    #1

    nearly didn't come

    Dear all,

    What is the meaning of "I nearly didn't come" in:

    A: Hello
    B: This is a surprise.
    A: Yes, I'm sorry. I'm sorry it's so late.
    B: I nearly didn't come at all.
    A: - It's alright.

    A paid a surprise visit to B . Now I can't get the structure of it . How come she visited her and then say "I nearly didn't come"??? And how "nearly"? What does that mean.


    **She came to console her

    Thanks a lot
    Last edited by maiabulela; 02-Jul-2011 at 16:36.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: nearly didn't come

    "I nearly didn't come." There had been a real possibility that the speaker would not come.

    I nearly died - I was close to death but, clearly, I did not die.
    I nearly didn't come - I was close to not-coming, but I didn't not-come = I came.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: nearly didn't come

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    "I nearly didn't come." There had been a real possibility that the speaker would not come.

    I nearly died - I was close to death but, clearly, I did not die.
    I nearly didn't come - I was close to not-coming, but I didn't not-come = I came.
    Yes! I totally got it! The first example you have kindly provided really made the picture so clear. Thanks for analyzing the negative structure I'm so grateful.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: nearly didn't come

    However, if I read your post correctly, the person making the surprise visit is A, so why would B comment that she almost didn't come? That part is confusing.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 03-Jul-2011 at 00:12.
    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. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: nearly didn't come

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    However, if I read your post correctly, the person making the surprise visit is A, so why would B comment that she almost didn't come? That part is confusing.
    I hadn't spotted that. It is strange.

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