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    #1

    Was not about to

    Hi there,

    Is the sentence below correct?

    I was not about to see a doctor but thought better of it.

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: Was not about to

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Seanlim:

    In my OPINION, your sentence is correct if you mean to say something like:


    "I did not have any plans (desires) to see a doctor, but then I decided that it might be a good idea to see a doctor after all."

    *****

    Sometimes it is easier to analyze a sentence if one simplifies it. So let's remove the negative. We then get:

    "I was about to see a doctor, but an emergency occurred so I had to cancel my appointment."

    My books tell me that such a sentence means something like "I was planning to see a doctor VERY SOON, but an emergency ...."

    If you put the negative back in, then you get the idea that "I definitely was NOT planning to see a doctor very soon, but I changed my mind because of the pain."


    James


    I consulted Walter Kay Smart's ENGLISH REVIEW GRAMMAR and Pence and Emery's A GRAMMAR OF PRESENT-DAY ENGLISH for my opinion.


    P.S. I shall let other members comment on whether or not your sentence needs any punctuation.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Was not about to

    The sentence is not natural. For me, the problem is using "but thought better of it" after a negative decision.

    If it were recast in the positive, it would be fine: "I was going to see a doctor but thought better of it."

    For your meaning, I would say: I had decided not to see a doctor, but I changed my mind.
    There are many other ways to convey that meaning.

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    #4

    Re: Was not about to

    Hi TheParser, Mike,

    Thank you

    Hi Mike,
    You got what I means. "I had decided not to see a doctor, but I changed my mind".

    Thank you
    Last edited by seanlim; 18-Jul-2014 at 10:23. Reason: Typo error

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Was not about to

    You're welcome. The verb "change" should be "changed".

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