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  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    A: Can you imagine a context in which this sentence could be used?

    B: I can imagine a few contexts if I want to. But right now I don't have enough time to think of them.
    A: OK. ( "A" understands that "B" cannot explain to him those contexts right now.)

    Another dialogue:

    A: Can you imagine a context in which this sentence could be used?
    B: Yes, I can imagine a few contexts.
    A: Can you explain to me those contexts?
    B: Yes. Suppose...

    Is this what you mean?
    Don't waste precious space! (You had to explain "OK"?)
    Not a professional teacher

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I hate disagreeing with Tdol, but you either want to go to Canada or you don't. You do not, I think, imagine wanting something.

    If you are going to imagine going to Canada, you can do that at any time. However, if you are going to actually go to Canada, go during the summer.
    You're right, it usually wouldn't make sense. In if/then contexts, it could work:

    - I can imagine wanting to go to Canada if I got a draft notice.
    - I can imagine wanting to go to Canada if global warming got much worse.
    - I can imagine wanting to go to Canada if I fell in love with someone from the Yukon.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #13

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I hate disagreeing with Tdol, but you either want to go to Canada or you don't. You do not, I think, imagine wanting something.

    If you are going to imagine going to Canada, you can do that at any time. However, if you are going to actually go to Canada, go during the summer.
    I get your point. I was trying to incorporate if I want to into the sentence. I clearly missed the mark.

  4. Member
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    #14

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Don't waste precious space! (You had to explain "OK"?)
    Sorry, I didn't know we were running out of space.

  5. Member
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    #15

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    You're right, it usually wouldn't make sense. In if/then contexts, it could work:

    - I can imagine wanting to go to Canada if I got a draft notice.
    - I can imagine wanting to go to Canada if global warming got much worse.
    - I can imagine wanting to go to Canada if I fell in love with someone from the Yukon.
    What type of conditionals are these? Shouldn't it be: I could imagine...?

  6. Moderator
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    #16

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    What type of conditionals are these? Shouldn't it be: I could imagine...?
    Were the sentences corrected by a native speaker who has tutored English? (Yes, they were.) What do you think that tells you about their correctness?

    Native speakers aren't infallible, but we usually use our language more or less correctly.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #17

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    What type of conditionals are these? Shouldn't it be: I could imagine...?
    Good question.

    "I could" is also correct and possibly more grammatical. We can let the grammarians here sort that out.

    But "I can" also makes sense, because, in fact, I can imagine it under those circumstances.

    (Despite GoesStation's kind words, I do make mistakes. But I don't think this was one of them.)
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    Sorry, I didn't know we were running out of space.
    I was kidding.

    The original had unnecessary spacing between the lines of a dialogue. Let me explain with an example.

    Tarheel: Don't waste precious space!
    NAL: Are we running out of space?
    Tarheel: No, not really. I just mean don't put spaces between the lines of a dialogue. Instead, do it like this.
    NAL: OK.

    Last edited by Tarheel; 19-Sep-2020 at 22:04.
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    #19

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I was kidding.

    The original had unnecessary spacing between the lines of a dialogue. Let me explain with an example.

    Tarheel: Don't waste precious space!
    NAL: Are we running out of space?
    Tarheel: No, not really. I just mean don't put spaces between the lines of a dialogue. Instead, do it like this.
    NAL: OK.

    I'd separate the speakers with blank lines.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: I can imagine going to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I'd separate the speakers with blank lines.
    Yeah, that's how I do it. In dialogue, each person's line is really a paragraph, and paragraph breaks are usually shown with indents or blank lines.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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