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I'm trying to say something like "I can't seem to find satisfaction" but it sounds wrong. I can't just put it like "I didn't find satisfaction" because I don't mean it that way because up til now I have yet to find satisfaction.

  • What about "I'm not satistified." Would that work? More context would help. – J.R. Jun 5 '17 at 14:55
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I didn't find any satisfaction in those jobs. past

When I held those jobs, they were not satisfactory.

I haven't found any satisfaction in the jobs I've held. present perfect

So far, no job that I've ever held has been satisfactory.

I don't find any satisfaction in that kind of job. present

I do not like that kind of job. Such jobs are not for me.

The present can be used to describe a general state of affairs.

I can't seem to find satisfaction in such jobs. present

Identical to "I don't find" in terms of the time reference, but not as certain a statement. Something about yourself, or about those jobs, makes the experience unsatisfactory.

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You're talking about previous jobs as past events and the fact that you didn't find satisfaction in them. "I didn't find satisfaction" means exactly that--up until now you have yet to find satisfaction. So that sentence would work fine.

You can also look at the situation from a slightly different perspective. Instead of sitting here today looking back at the past, you can characterize the ongoing process of moving through time from one job to the next, not finding satisfaction at each one in turn, and continuing to the present time. That would be the sentence in the title, “I enjoyed all my previous jobs but I don't seem to find satisfaction.”

I think "have enjoyed" would be more consistent with a continuing process. Also, you could tie the satisfaction more explicitly to the jobs:

I have enjoyed all my previous jobs but I don't seem to find satisfaction in them.

"Don't" implies that you are still in that situation and see the pattern somewhat as a characteristic of yourself. A variation would be:

I have enjoyed all my previous jobs but I haven't found satisfaction in them.

That is similar but implies that although that was the past pattern, you anticipate that it could change. You just haven't found the right job, yet.

Of course if you are a Rolling Stone, you could say, "I can't get no satisfaction." :-)

  • Thanks, fixer1234! What about this one? "I already had previous jobs and I must say I enjoyed it all but I don't seem to find satisfaction." Is it correct? – Roma A Jun 5 '17 at 6:52
  • "haven't seemed to find" is not correct: you use do rather than have when you use a stative verb like seem. "didn't seem to find" or "haven't found" would be OK. And the Rolling Stones song is called "I can't get no satisfaction". – JavaLatte Jun 5 '17 at 7:06
  • @JavaLatte Thank you! What do you think of the sentence I wrote above your comment? Is it acceptable? – Roma A Jun 5 '17 at 7:14
  • @RomaA, there are an infinite number of variations on possible ways to say this. The most useful way to understand what makes them correct/incorrect or good is to focus on the principles rather than the words. What are you trying to accomplish different in the sentence in your comment? – fixer1234 Jun 5 '17 at 7:27
  • @fixer1234 I'm not sure if I'm making any sense. But do the phrases preceding "don't seem to..." makes the usage of "don't" grammatically acceptable or is it completely wrong? – Roma A Jun 5 '17 at 7:47

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