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    #1

    even if i want to

    Hi,

    Is ''Even if I want to believe you, I can't'' correct?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: even if i want to

    Usually, it would be "Even if I wanted to believe you...".

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: even if i want to

    It's a common expression:

    I couldn't do it even if I wanted to.

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    #4

    Re: even if i want to

    Even if I wanted to believe you, I couldn't. OK now?
    I couldn't believe you even if I wanted to. OK now?

    It indicated the past, right? Can I use it in the present tense?

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    #5

    Re: even if i want to

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Even if I wanted to believe you, I couldn't. OK now?
    I couldn't believe you even if I wanted to. OK now?

    It indicated the past, right? Can I use it in the present tense?
    A common way to say this in the present tense: I want to believe you, but I just can't or ​I just can't do it.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: even if i want to

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Even if I wanted to believe you, I couldn't. OK now?
    I couldn't believe you even if I wanted to. OK now?

    It indicated the past, right? Can I use it in the present tense?
    I think they are the past subjunctive, which refers to the present.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: even if i want to

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I think they are the past subjunctive, which refers to the present.
    As the form of the past subjunctive is identical to the form of the past indicative for all verbs except, for some speakers, BE, there seems to me to be little point in referring to a past subjunctive in modern British English. The past tense in English is, in my opinion, a distancing tense. It distances the situation denoted in vividness in time (This chap walks into a bar ... vs A man walked into a bar ...), reality (If it rains tomorrow ... vs If it rained tomorrow ...) and directness (I wonder if you have a moment vs I wondered if you had a moment).

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: even if i want to

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    there seems to me to be little point in referring to a past subjunctive in modern British English.
    I found the term useful while learning the second conditional.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: even if i want to

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Even if I wanted to believe you, I couldn't. OK now?
    I couldn't believe you even if I wanted to. OK now?

    It indicated the past, right? Can I use it in the present tense?
    It's used in the present tense. Example:

    A: Could you loan me $100 until payday?
    B: No, I couldn't if I wanted to. I don't have the cash right now.

    If somebody says, "I couldn't if I wanted to" it means he doesn't want to, but he also has an excuse.

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