"I watch sitcoms whenever I feel sad."

Can this sentence can be paraphrased as: "I watch sitcoms for feeling sad"?

  • 3
    No. The paraphrasing is incorrect. It can be "I watch sitcoms whenever I'm sad" and the equivalent paraphrasing is "I watch sitcoms when I'm sad" or "I watch sitcoms to feel better". – Sid Mar 15 '17 at 8:24
  • And note you should pluralize "sitcoms" as Sid had in his comment. – Teacher KSHuang Mar 15 '17 at 8:54
  • Technically speaking, constructions like I drink coffee for staying awake or I wear a suit for looking smart are "syntactically valid", but idiomatically we'd almost always prefer an infinitive verb form ...to stay awake, ...to look smart. Note that those are "unmarked" infinitives - the word to isn't an infinitive marker, it represents in order to [inf. verb]. – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '17 at 16:55
  • Also note that if we "reverse" the cited example to give something that makes more sense, as I feel sad whenever I watch romcoms, that doesn't necessarily imply the speaker watches romcoms in order to feel sad, any more than Whenever I gamble I lose implies I gamble because I lose. – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '17 at 17:02

"I watch sitcoms whenever I feel sad."

is equivalent to:

"I watch sitcoms when I feel sad."


"I watch sitcoms if I feel sad."


"I watch sitcoms every time when I feel sad."

These sentences imply that watching and feeling sad happen at the same time, but there is no direct cause-effect relationship between them.

On the other hand,

"I watch sitcoms for feeling sad."

is equivalent to:

"I watch sitcoms because feeling sad."

In these case, there is an explicit direct cause-effect relationship between watching and feeling sad.

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