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  1. #1

    "makes you want to be sad"

    I have problems with understanding the following sentence. Could you help me?

    To express the anger and pain he felt from his parents' breakup, Kurt writes on his bedroom wall: "I hate mom. I hate dad. Dad hates mom. Mom hates dad. It simply makes you want to be sad."

    Q1: "It simply makes you sad" seems more reasonable to me. People become sad, not wanting to be so. What does adding "want to" mean in this case?

    Q2: Does "you" mean general people in this case?
    Last edited by pink dragon; 21-Mar-2006 at 09:59.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: "makes you want to be sad"

    Q1: "It simply makes you sad" seems more reasonable to me. People become sad, not wanting to be so. What does adding "want to" mean in this case?

    => People decide whether they want to or not want to be sad. In our example, the situation is so painful for Kurt that it causes him to feel as if there is no other choice but to be sad.

    Q2: Does "you" mean general people in this case?
    => Yes. People in general.

  3. #3

    Re: "makes you want to be sad"

    Thank you very much, Casiopea!
    But I still have trouble understanding this.

    I have always thought that emotion such as sadness and happiness are what we can't help feeling, and not what we decide to feel.

    Could your or anybody further explain this to me?

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #4

    Re: "makes you want to be sad"

    You're welcome, pd.

    How about?

    [1] The hot weather makes me (feel as if I) want to eat ice-cream,
    Choice (a) so I will.
    Choice (b) I won't, because I am on a diet.

    [2] Their ignorance makes me (feel as if I) want to scream,
    Choice (a) so I will.
    Choice (b) but I won't. I'll be calm, cool, and collected, and hold that emotion inside.

    [3] Kurt's parents' break-up makes him (feel as if he) want(s) to be sad,

    Choice (a) so he will be sad.
    Choice (b) but he won't be sad. He chooses to be angry, instead.

    Does that help out some?

  5. #5

    Re: "makes you want to be sad"

    Thank you, Casiopea!

    In spite of your kind explanation, I still feel [3] is different from [1] and [2].
    But, since nobody has posted a different view, it must be the way native speakers use.
    I guess itís a difference between English and our language.
    Thank you again, and Iím sorry to have bothered you!

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    #6

    Re: "makes you want to be sad"

    I think it's just a difference, we use 'want' with negative emotions. It's illogical, but then that shouldn't come as a great surprise to anyone who's had to learn English.

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