1

This is from the ITV, Loose Women Programme see 6:20-6:30.

The ladies talking about abortions that they had in the past, and when discussing the issue, one of them says:

"Do I want to be tied to this person who, you know, for the rest of my life, and I wouldn't have been a person that would have been able to be awful about the partner."

I don't think I quite understood this part of the whole sentence:"....and I wouldn't have been a person that would have been able to be awful about the partner."

I think the sentence structure seems like Conditional Type 3.

So, did she mean: "If I had not left him at that time in the past, I wouldn't have had the chance now to complain about him, or I wouldn't have had the chance to feel awful about him now, because he was coercive and he would not have allowed me to talk about him now."

Did I understand it correctly?

1
  • We can't know what she meant exactly but the part you are asking about a cliché in terms of talking about oneself.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 17:35

2 Answers 2

0

Television interview of some member of the public.

The woman says this: "Do I want to be tied to this person who, you know, for the rest of my life, and I wouldn't have been a person that would have been able to be awful about the partner."

Now, there, we see that she changes horses in mid-stream. She does not finish one thought and then goes onto another. For the first bit, she probably realized that she was not going to be able to finish the sentence as spoken: "Do I want to be tied to this person who, you know, for the rest of my life",

Had she said worded it like this: Do I want to be tied for the rest of my life to this person who, you know," [did or said, x, y or z] etc., she might not have had so much trouble with it. Spoken languages has all sorts of ellipsis, truncations, repetitions, omissions, restarts, etc.

In any event, when she changes horses, she does manage to get out a full sentence that makes perfect sense:

"I wouldn't have been a person that would have been able to be awful about the partner".

I wouldn't have been a person= I would not have been like that at the time

to be awful about the partner: We cannot know what that means exactly. Caveat; I have no listened to the entire thing.

However, we do say in English: to be awful about [someone or something]. She might have meant in terms of getting pregnant and going out and finding a sperm donor, for example.

We can't know exactly what she means when she says: being awful about a partner.

2

This is a bad sentence spoken unprepared by someone who's not a professional TV personality, so there's nothing to learn about English here.

She started that part of the sentence with "would" because the main idea is that she wouldn't have been able to be awful, but she accidentally said "would" at the beginning where she meant something more like, "... and I wasn't a person that...".

5
  • Often, in connected speech, there are lacunae, backtracking and ellipses, repetitions, etc.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 17:33
  • Thanks for all your comments. @gotube, yes, like you said, this is a bad sentence spoken unprepared by someone who's not a professional TV personality. But what I don't understand is this: Since it is such a bad sentence that even the native speakers on stackexchange were not able to understand completeley, how did the other people, the panelists, on that programme understand what she meant, because none of them seemed to not understand and none of them asked what she meant? Did they simply pretend that they understood, or did they understood from the context?
    – Yunus
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 18:30
  • @yunus You are quite mistaken. She is being interviewed on a talk show. Her speech is usual for that sort of thing and grammatical. And I am the only other native speaker here that has even commented on this. The only point is that she changes course in the middle of a sentence. I guess you guys are not used to actual speech.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 18:36
  • @Lambie, yes that is right and this is why we as non-native speakers, have difficulty in understanding actual speech on TV shows. At school, the sentences from books are quite good and intelligible, and so are teachers. But we are also advised that, we should listen to the actual speech to be able to fully proficient in speaking skills. But then when we as non-native speakers try to listen to actual talks on TV shows, failing to undertand talks like this drives us crazy that why is it that we still can't understand properly after so many years of education. We should practice more, I think :)
    – Yunus
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 18:42
  • @yunus Listen to speech from speakers on formal TV shows like good documentaries, for instance. Not random speakers on TV. I am sure that this speech stuff occurs in your native language, also. It is not limited to happening in English.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 19:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .