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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #1

    She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to."

    As far as I understand this should mean roughly "She attended the meeting not because she wanted to, but because she was compelled to do so."

    Can it be understood in this way?

    "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to (not attend)." ~ "She did not attend the meeting because she did not want to (attend it)."

    Thanks.

  2. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    Personally, I feel the emphasis falls on the word "wanted" here.

    She didn't attend the meeting because something had happened prior to it.
    In other words, she didn't do it on purpose.

  3. suprunp's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    Personally, I feel the emphasis falls on the word "wanted" here.

    She didn't attend the meeting because something had happened prior to it.
    In other words, she didn't do it on purpose.
    Does it mean that only suitable context can help us to work out what really was intended?

    # 1 "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to; her boss compelled her to go and represent his company."
    # 2 "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to; her little child fell ill so she stayed at home that evening."


    Are these two variants possible?

    # 3 "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to; she tried to revolt against her boss, she wanted to show him who was really in charge of everything. So she stayed at home while her boss was trying to sort everything out by himself."

    Is this variant also possible?

    Thanks.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to."

    As far as I understand this should mean roughly "She attended the meeting not because she wanted to, but because she was compelled to do so."

    Can it be understood in this way?

    "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to (not attend)." ~ "She did not attend the meeting because she did not want to (attend it)."

    Thanks.
    She attended the meeting, even though she hadn't wanted to attend.

  5. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    suprunp,

    Consider the following sentence:
    She attended the meeting not because she WANTED to. (she was forced to do it)

    And this one:
    She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to. (to do what? skip it?)

    I'd stay true to my original thought, but let's see what NATIVE speakers have to say on this matter.

  6. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    She attended the meeting, even though she hadn't wanted to attend.
    Upon careful examination of the sentence, I have come to agree with you on this.
    Last edited by Bennevis; 09-Sep-2011 at 21:59.

  7. suprunp's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    So my 2nd and 3rd sentences with context don't work?
    Does it mean that I can only write this:

    # 1 "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to; her boss compelled her to go and represent his company."

  8. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    Put differently,

    She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to. She attended the meeting because her boss said so.

    But, in general, such structures are not considered stylistically immaculate. Take one of those oDesk grammar and writing tests and you'll see what I mean.

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    #9

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to."

    As far as I understand this should mean roughly "She attended the meeting not because she wanted to, but because she was compelled to do so."

    Can it be understood in this way?

    "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to (not attend)." ~ "She did not attend the meeting because she did not want to (attend it)."

    Thanks.


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) "She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to."

    (a) I believe that this is a perfect sentence. It means, as you said, that

    she attended only because she was compelled to do so.

    (2) Can it also mean "She didn't attend because she wanted not to attend"?

    In my opinion: NO. (If you wanted your sentence to express that idea, you would

    need a very long pause: She didn't attend the meeting -- because she wanted to [not

    to attend the meeting]. I think that it would very difficult for a native speaker to get that

    idea even with a long pause. It would be a torture to get that meaning out of your

    sentence! Less bad would be: She didn't attend the meeting -- because that's what

    she wanted [to do. That is, not to attend].)

    (a) If you want to express that idea, you would need:

    She didn't attend the meeting, [comma or pause in conversation] because

    she didn't want to [attend the meeting].

    (3) But look at what happens if you do not use a comma or pause:

    She didn't attend the meeting because she didn't want to [attend the meeting].

    That means: she did not attend the meeting, but her absence was not due to

    a lack of desire. Maybe an emergency came up and so she had to miss the

    meeting (which she really had wanted to attend).

    (4) Often a pause (or comma in writing makes) a world of difference!

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    #10

    Re: She didn't attend the meeting because she wanted to

    This is the type of sentence that does not come across very well written. In a conversation, the emphasis on "wanted" would help make it clearer. (I agree with bhai, this means she attended under duress.)

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