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My girlfriend said to me regarding a family of cats: "they look like future us" referring to us starting a family together.

To me "they look like future us" sounds odd and non-idiomatic basically because they're cats and humans can't look like cats, though I do understand the rhetoric meaning.

If you think this is non-idiomatic English, how would you convey the same meaning but in an idiomatic way? And also, what makes "they look like future us" non-idiomatic?

Thank you!

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    It's idiomatic, and very informal
    – gotube
    Aug 7, 2022 at 3:47
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    If I heard this in a casual conversation, I would not think twice about it. It sounds perfectly natural to me. Aug 7, 2022 at 6:57

1 Answer 1

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Attributive adjectives do not commonly precede personal pronouns, so "future us" sounds a bit unusual. However, alternatives that sound more natural are usually longer, so native speakers will sometimes say things like "future us" for concision. Here are some alternatives:

They look like a future version of us.
They look like us in the future.

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