I have a few questions about the meaning of a sentence.
When we say " I was careful to avoid arguments"
1. Does the sentence mean both of " I succeeded in avoiding arguments" and " I was careful, but I failed to avoid them" ? Or specifically either one ?
2. Is " I was careful to avoid arguments " the same as " I was careful that I avoided arguments" ? or " I was careful that I would avoid arguments " ?
I'm not a navtive speaker of English. Please help !!
" I was careful to avoid arguments"
..implies that he was successful.
2. Is " I was careful to avoid arguments " the same as " I was careful that I avoided arguments"
No. The second sentence implies something like, I had a bad heart and didn't get into heated arguments to avoid stress; or if two people were arguing, I walked out of the room to avoid being present while all the hoo-ha was going on.
? or " I was careful that I would avoid arguments "
Put the sentence this way: I knew that if I was careful, that I would avoid arguments.
I might have been successful - I may not. For example:
I knew that if I was careful, that I would avoid arguments. But it wasn't enough that I was careful. He kept coming around to my place and threatening me, so I finally had to take out a restraining order.
(With thanks to the Judge Judy show which is on in the background!.)