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    #1

    simple or continuous?

    What do you think about this sentence?

    A: You haven't eaten for more than ten hours! Would you like something to eat? I'll whip it up. I wouldn't like you to be starving.

    I was asked to translate this sentence from my mother tongue, Italian, into English and I translated it in this way. How do you like it? Does it seem natural for an English native speaker? I don't know but "to be starving" is the first thing that came up with in my mind. Is that correct? or Had I better use to starve (the simple infinitive form), instead of to be starving. Are there any differences between these two forms in this sentence?

    Thanks so much for your help.

  1. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: simple or continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    What do you think about this sentence?

    A: You haven't eaten for more than ten hours! Would you like something to eat? I'll whip it up. I wouldn't like you to be starving.

    I was asked to translate this sentence from my mother tongue, Italian, into English and I translated it in this way. How do you like it? Does it seem natural for an English native speaker? I don't know but "to be starving" is the first thing that came up with in my mind. Is that correct? or Had I better use to starve (the simple infinitive form), instead of to be starving. Are there any differences between these two forms in this sentence?

    Thanks so much for your help.
    "I wouldn't like/want you to starve" sounds more natural.

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    #3

    Re: simple or continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    "I wouldn't like/want you to starve" sounds more natural.
    Is there a particular grammatical reason for this or is it just because it's more natural?
    Do you think the continuous form changes or modifies the meaning of the sentence?

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    #4

    Re: simple or continuous?

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    What do you think about this sentence?

    A: You haven't eaten for more than ten hours! Would you like something to eat? I'll whip it up. I wouldn't like you to be starving.

    I was asked to translate this sentence from my mother tongue, Italian, into English and I translated it in this way. How do you like it? Does it seem natural for an English native speaker? I don't know but "to be starving" is the first thing that came up with in my mind. Is that correct? or Had I better use to starve (the simple infinitive form), instead of to be starving. Are there any differences between these two forms in this sentence?

    Thanks so much for your help.
    A slight but perhaps unnoticeable difference. In your example and within the context you presented , I would go with "to be starving" (now/at the moment) as opposed to "to starve" (as a more permanent condition with perhaps more serious result).

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