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  1. sky3120's Avatar
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    #1

    I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    Is this sentence awkward to you? I know it all depends on people and some teachers say this is somewhat odd but I think it could be fine to some, so I would like to hear from more teachers. Thank you so much.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    I'd say "I met a guy who wanted/wants to be an English teacher" sounds more natural.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    I think your way sounds fine. Alternatively, you could use the one Charlie suggested. Both ways sound very natural to me.

    Also, if you use 'wanted' instead of wants. You're changing the tense.
    'Wanted' in this tense implies he doesn't any more (past tense). However, 'wants' (present tense) implies that he still does.





    Not a teacher....Yet
    Last edited by HanibalII; 26-Sep-2012 at 09:19.

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    I think your way sounds fine. Alternatively, you could use the one Charlie suggested. Both ways sound very natural to me.


    Not a teacher....Yet
    Hi, HanibalII,

    To me, the progressive would sound "better" with a verb different to "want": "I met a gut trying/studying to be an English teacher". "Wanting", in this context sounds awkward, IMO. But then I may be wrong.

    So please enlighten me on this, if possible.

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    I'm not sure Charlie. As I said, both ways sound very natural to me. I've seen/heard both sentences used before.

    However, see my edit regarding the use of 'wanted'.

    That's just my feeling on the structure as somebody who uses English as a primary language.

  4. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    I'm not sure Charlie. As I said, both ways sound very natural to me. I've seen/heard both sentences used before.

    However, see my edit regarding the use of 'wanted'.
    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    'Wanted' in this tense implies he doesn't any more (past tense). However, 'wants' (present tense) implies that he still does.
    Please let me tell you I disagree with your edit:

    "Wanted", IMO, does not necessarily implied the guy no longer wants to be a teacher. Maybe he has already become one, since he was met in the past, and we are not told whether the people implied are still in touch with each other. So "wanted" would only imply that, at the time of the meeting, that was his intention. Whether he no longer wants to be one is difficult, if not impossible, to say.

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: I met a guy wanting to be an English teacher.

    I suppose in relation to 'wanted' we'd need to see more of the context. Which is why I recommended against using 'wanted' in this case.

    I agree that if he is talking about the past, wanted would be the appropriate word choice. However I get the impression, the "meeting" of the guy has just occurred.

    It also depends if you know the outcome.

    "I met a guy who wanted to become an English teacher" implies you knew he wanted to do it. But it did not occur.

    But using "I met a guy wanting to become an English teacher" implies you know he wants to, but do not know the outcome.


    I guess context matters. Especially in this circumstance.

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