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    #1

    wouldn't live for another ten years

    It was scorching in our apartment. This was 1962, and I would not live in a place with an air conditioner for another ten years.


    What does the underlined sentence mean? Is it naturally written?

    Thanks!

    Jason

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    #2

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    It doesn't make sense.

    In view of the first sentence, '...an apartment without an air conditioner...' is the only natural thing to say.

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    #3

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    It is fine. In 1962 he did not have air conditioning. It would be sometime after 1972 when he would first live in a place that had A/C.

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    #4

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    Yes, you're right, of course. I didn't read it that way.


  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlulu_2000 View Post
    I would not live in a place with an air conditioner for another ten years.
    Then may I take it to mean 'I would still not have a chance to live in a place with an air conditioner in the coming ten years'?

    Not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Then may I take it to mean 'I would still not have a chance to live in a place with an air conditioner in the coming ten years'?

    Not a teacher.
    We don't know if he had a chance to do so. We only know that he is looking back on his life and stating what happened.

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    #7

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years



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



    Hello, Jason:


    As the other posters have said, that kind of construction (kind of sentence) is FINE, and all grammar books accept it as EXCELLENT English.

    Nevertheless, it is interesting, I think, to note that a (very) few writers are not comfortable with that use of "would."

    Those (very) few writers seem to explain their objection this way:

    1. This is 2014.
    2. You are telling us about something that happened in 1962.
    3. The use of "would" seems to say that you have the powers of prediction.
    4. In 1962, you surely did not say to yourself: "It is 1962. I will not live in a place with a/c until 1972."
    5. Therefore, one should say something like: "It was scorching hot. It was 1962 and I did not live in a place with a/c for another ten years."


    *****

    That is what those (very) few writers claim. But "everyone" uses "would" with NO problems.



    James


    P.S. Here is an excellent sentence from Michael Swan's Practical English Grammar:

    "In 1968 I arrived in the town where I would spend the next ten years of my life."

    I guess that those (very) few writers would prefer: "In 1968 I arrived in the town where I SPENT the next ten years of my life."
    Last edited by TheParser; 04-Sep-2014 at 16:43. Reason: added OP's name.

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    #8

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    Thank you all for your help.

    One last problem is still about "would". "Would" could also mean "was willing". So the sentence could also mean: I was not willing to live for another ten years.
    Of course I know this doesn't make sense in the text. But we can also understand "would" in that way, can't we?
    So I think "didn't" is better than "wouldn't".

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    #9

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    Yes, "would" can mean that he was not willing. But that is not the natural reading in this context.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: wouldn't live for another ten years

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "would" can mean that he was not willing.
    Do you mean 'would not'?

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