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wanted/want

 
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metal56



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 3032

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: wanted/want Reply with quote

I wanted to speak to you today.
I want to speak to you today.

Do both those express a desire at the moment of speaking, IYO?
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lolwhites



Joined: 16 Jul 2003
Posts: 1321
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on context, but the first could refer to a present situation if the speaker is trying to sound polite. In the same way, you might ring someone up and say "I was calling to ask..."

Of course, I wanted to speak to you today could be followed by ... but now I realise it won't be possible. In which case, the desire could still be present, even if it's no longer realisable.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 18 May 2003
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The second form expresses distance, whether emotional, social or temporal.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random thoughts: while 'I was wanting to speak to you' is fine, 'I'm wanting to speak to you' isn't. (As for present progressive, could it be equally substituted for by past progressive?).
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metal56



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen Jones wrote:
The second form expresses distance, whether emotional, social or temporal.


By "the second form", do you mean "the second example above", or are you referring to what is traditionally called the past simple?
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metal56



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
Random thoughts: while 'I was wanting to speak to you' is fine, 'I'm wanting to speak to you' isn't. (As for present progressive, could it be equally substituted for by past progressive?).


And how about "I will want to speak to you tomorrow" and "*?I will be wanting to speak to you tomorrow"?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I was wrestling with 'I will have been wanting to have never been spoken to after perhaps having a speak with you about speaking', and it's worn me out. Back soon!
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metal56



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
Sorry, I was wrestling with 'I will have been wanting to have never been spoken to after perhaps having a speak with you about speaking', and it's worn me out. Back soon!


That's big enough for tag-team wrestling. Go have coffee.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 18 May 2003
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was using the alternative terminology for the past simple.

Fluffy raises an interesting point about the progressive aspect and want when he points out how rare it is to see the present continous.

The reason is that the continuous aspect stresses the fact that the 'action' is taking place in a specific period of time with a beginning and end. So no problem with "I've been wanting to talk to you for a long time'. There seems to be a social convention with "I was wanting/hoping/expecting".

In the Present Continuous it is difficult to envisage a situation where the beginning and ending of the desire is so important, since the desire itself takes primacy.
The boss wants you to finish this today.
*The boss is wanting you to finish this today.

If however you are making an observation then the importance of the desire itself no longer takes primacy.
The Democrats are wanting Bush to become a lame-duck President.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
Random thoughts: while 'I was wanting to speak to you' is fine, 'I'm wanting to speak to you' isn't. (As for present progressive, could it be equally substituted for by past progressive?).


Actually I meant to say 'As for present perfect progressive, could it be equally substituted by past perfect progressive?' there. Not that it's very important. Smile
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metal56



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
fluffyhamster wrote:
Random thoughts: while 'I was wanting to speak to you' is fine, 'I'm wanting to speak to you' isn't. (As for present progressive, could it be equally substituted for by past progressive?).


Actually I meant to say 'As for present perfect progressive, could it be equally substituted by past perfect progressive?' there. Not that it's very important. Smile


I making a "request" for an audience with someone, the past perfect progessive gives a feeling of anteriority, duration and states the prsent existence of the unfulfilled desire, IMO. When used alone, the past simple/second form does not.

I've been wanting to speak to you (for some time now). Now, please sit down.
?*I was wanting to speak to you (for some time now). = My desire no longer exists.

I wanted to speak to you. = My desire still exists.
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