Why is "wanted" used instead of "want"?

Sunday, March 22, 2020 11:14:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 6,305
Neurons: 26,183 With the escalating severity of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak globally, I wanted to reach out to assure you that we remain totally committed to serving your banking needs, as well as to share updates on our response.

  1. Why is “wanted” used instead of"want" when the bank’s officer is addressing their clients?
  2. Should it be “outbreaks” instead?

Thanks.

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Hi Kohyoongliat,

‘wanted’ is used here correctly. It refers to ‘wanting’ something in the past, however his intention of ‘wanting to reach out’ still continues. Clearly, it’s a speech and then reported speech is also used, when a journalist reports, compare:

  • With the escalating severity of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak globally, I wanted to reach out to assure you that we remain totally committed to serving your banking needs, as well as to share updates on our response. (That’s the speech)

  • A spokesman said: ‘With the escalating severity of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak globally, he wanted to reach out to assure you that we remain totally committed to serving your banking needs, as well as to share updates on our response.’

It does not necessarily mean a reporter has to use indirect speech, comapare:

  • A spokesman said: ‘With the escalating severity of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak globally, he wants to reach out to assure you that we remain totally committed to serving your banking needs, as well as to share updates on our response.’

  • Outbreak is correct here, since it refers to one outbreak of the virus. Compare ‘a globally outbreak of Covid-19’.

I hope I’ve helped you. I think of you and of all of the people I meet, even on this forum. That means you and your family, friends and acquaintances. I hope you all are well and healthy.

Kind regards Marc

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I think the author of this message uses ‘wanted’ instead of ‘want’ as a way of being more subtle, more polite by being less direct.

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Viviana, dear, it has to do with grammar. I’ll give a more detailed answer to you later. :tulip:

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I agree. Using ‘wanted’ instead of ‘want’ makes the phrase sound less urgent.

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I don’t agree and I stick to my statement. :upside_down_face:

1 Like