Master of the Game/ television series based on the novel of Sidney Sheldon. Again I'd like some advice

I’m watching Master of the Game based on the novel of Sidney Sheldon.

There was something that bothered me a littlebit, but I know it’s right intuitively. Here’s the sentence:

  • Banda, once the Dutchman realises were still alive, he’ll wish he’d been dead the first moment he laid eyes on us.

I know intuitively that this is far better English than saying: …he’ll wish he was dead.

If it’s not, what on earth is the difference? My dear friend Torsten, your English is much better than mine, would you please be my knight in shining arrmour again? Thanks. Don’t be afraid, I’m gay and I simply like to tell handsome young men like you that they are handsome, even though their not gay.

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In my opinion, there is a marked difference between He’ll wish he’d been dead and He’ll wish he was (were) dead. The former indicates that he liked to have really been dead whereas the latter suggests a hypothetical or unreal situation in which he would like to have been dead rather than alive. I understand the nuance this way.

(@Alan might be watching me. I’d like his comment.)

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Wow Marc, so many compliments at once :wink: Thank you very much for them. As for my English I’m not sure if it’s really that much better than yours if at all. What I have noticed is that my level of English hasn’t increased much for the last 10 or so years which made me shift my focus on other topics than just English as such. What I find much more interesting and intriguing than just grammar is the way people think and what they are willing to do to get what they want. So, now that I have answered quite a few of your questions, how you answer one of mine ;-)? For example this one: 2020 is around the corner

I absolutely agree with you here, Lawrence. Thank you so much for sharing your view and I too look forward to seeing what Alan has to say once he returns from his holiday.

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Thanks Anglophile and Torsten.

  • Well, Torsten 2020 is around the corner. You heard and read that just about everywhere. So, if people start using this phrase (ofcourse, it’s no longer true now), we just have to accept that languages all over the world are changing, slowly perhaps, but they are changing. For example, in French there’s a double negation, like ne…pas, ne…jamais. This seems to disappear gradually. The French don’t seem to use it so often any more.

Examples:

  • J’ai jamais vu quelque chose comme ça rather than Je n’ai jamais vu quelque chose comme ça.
  • J’ai pas de fin rather than Je n’ai pas de fin.

This is also the case in Belgium, because we copy that, as it were.

In Dutch changes happen too, for example in comparisons.

Let’s take ‘your English is better than mine’. In Dutch this would be ‘Jouw Engels is beter dan dat van mij’. Nowadays you quite often hear ‘Jouw Engels is beter als dat van mij’. But both sentences make the message clear.
Another one: ‘Your English is as good as mine.’ That would be ‘Jouw Engels is even goed dan dat van mij.’ It should be ‘Jouw Engels is even goed als dat van mij.’ Again, both make the message clear.
Yet, teachers still mark the second Dutch sentence as wrong, a mistake. In my opinion, however, if this goes on for another two decades or so, grammar books just might have to be rewritten and dictionaries as well. So, we just accept what we have to accept, if we don’t we wouldn’t be ‘cool’ as they say. (although I don’t necessarily want to be cool). After, all today English is no longer spoken and written as it was a hundred years ago. A hundred years may seem a very long period, but historically speaking it is not. There is so much going in the world of the languages, so I would strongly advise not to study Esperanto or any other artificial language, since there are so many beautiful languages in the world, like Italian for instance. I’m going to take a course in Italian in March and it will last until December, so by that time 2021 will be around the corner.

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Hi Lawrence,

All I can say is your explanation as it invariably is, is spot on. Apologies for the clumsy sentence structure. Happy New Year.

Alan

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Hi again Marc, thank you very much for sharing these examples of how our European languages are still interconnected with each other. I now realize that you didn’t click on the link I posted but referred to the title of link which is absolutely fine because it resulted in a very valuable post. Now, if you have time please do take a look this post that in essence is about the question whether or not there is entropy when it comes to the human race: 2020 is around the corner (you need to click on that link :wink: )

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I agree with Lawrence on this one too. :+1:

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I am gladdened, Torsten. Thanks a lot.
I thank Masme as well.

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You are welcome, Lawrence :wink:

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I’m really honoured, Alan. Thank you very much.
Wish you good health and continued happiness in 2020.
Andrea, I thank you too.

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You’re welcome, Lawrence. @Anglophile

May you have a wonderful year ahead. :wink:

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Thanks for your post Andrea. Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true.

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My dear man, you’re very, very welcome. Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true.

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And to you too Alan, Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true.

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Hi Anglophile,

I completely agree, because when the Dutchman sees Banda again he really wished he was dead. You should watch or read the book. It’s really interesting. Now, I think the dialogue writers intended the character or rather the actor to use that line, instead of He’ll wish he was dead. Remember I wrote that I intuitively knew that I knew this was the correct sentence. Thanks.

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@Masme Thank you, Marc! Happy New Year to you too! Hope you have a fantastic one ahead! :wink:

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Thank you, Andrea. I reciprocate your new year greetings.

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Hi Torsten, just to let know,

It should be: J’ai pas de faim and Je n’ai pas de faim.
But ‘faim’ and ‘fin’ sound the same. There false friends. Sometimes, the result of speaking a lot languages is having spelling problems.
I also wanted to correct my mistake.
I felt I owed it to you.

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Hi Marc! So, ‘faim’ and ‘fin’ are homophones?

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Hi Torsten,

Yes, they are.

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