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Ok, let see this sentence "I do not want to get married in the near future".

Ok, I want to say an opposite sentence, so I want to say "I want to get married in the far future". Is it ok to say like that?

I often hear people say "in the near future" but rarely hear they say "in the far future".

So, What is the opposite of "in the near future"?

  • 1
    I don't want to get married in the near future doesn't exclude the possibility of getting married in the far future...therefore, the second sentence is not a negation of the first one. In order to negate the first sentence, change "don't want to" into "want to". The second negation changes the meaning. – Tlacenka Sep 3 '15 at 16:23
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    I hear far future used in situations like: This roof design looks good enough. At some point we are going to have to worry about the shingles rotting, but that's an issue for the far future. Right now it will keep us dry. – Adam Sep 3 '15 at 17:34
  • @Tlacenka There are sometimes many ways in which something could be an "opposite". The opposite of "I don't want to get married in the near future" could be "I do want to get married in the near future", "I don't want to get married in the distant future", "I don't want to ever get married", "I don't want to get married in the past [using my new time machine]", "I don't want to get divorced in the near future", or likely many other alternatives. – Jay Sep 3 '15 at 20:40
  • @Jay I did not say there was only one way to do it. It depends on what you decide to affect...if it can have an impact on something you didn't mention at all in your statement (in here, what can happen in the distant future) or not. So your examples can be correct, of course :). I was going for the case where "the distant future" isn't mentioned at all...and I imho correctly said that OP's idea of negation is incorrect -- it does not negate the original question. If I say that I don't want to get married any time soon, it does not exclude the possibility that I marry after a while, does it? – Tlacenka Sep 3 '15 at 21:34
  • @Tlacenka What I was trying to say was, That depends on what the writer is trying to say. If someone says, "I don't want to get married in the near future" and someone else says "Oh, I think exactly the opposite", unless he clarifies, we don't know just what he means by "the opposite". He might mean that he wants to get married in the near future, that he never wants to get married at all, etc. – Jay Sep 3 '15 at 21:41
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"Far future" isn't a very common phrase, and it sounds very awkward in this usage. "Distant future" is the more common one. However, most native speakers wouldn't say this:

I want to get married in the distant future.

While this is a perfectly valid sentence, it's a strange phrasing. The speaker sounds determined to be married (want is a strong word), but they don't know when; yet, they say "distant future" as if it is a definite time. Particularly, I think it is the prepositional phrase "in the..." that makes it sound more definite.

I would instead expect someone to say this:

I want to get married, but not any time soon.

The "but" offers contrast with the fact that the speaker wants to be married. In this version, the speaker sounds a little less motivated:

I'd like to get married at some point.

You could also mix and match the halves of the two sentences ("I want to get married at some point")

  • You could also use "I'd like to get married some time later." or "I want to get married eventually, but not right now." – imkingdavid Sep 3 '15 at 20:22
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My non-native suggestion would be

In the distant future

Admittedly that may refer to a point even too far in the future. Particularly if you are discussing the prospects of getting married with a significant other.

  • Thankfully Crazy Eyes discussed the askers options in this particular context. I would most definitely not recommend anyone to say to their partner "I want to get married in the distant future". That could very easily be misunderstood :-). This attempt at answering is thus incomplete as a piece of advice. New user here, uncertain what to address when answering. – Jyrki Lahtonen Sep 3 '15 at 20:14
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People do indeed talk about the "far future". As others have noted, it is also common to say "the distant future". "Distant" appears to be more common: see the always-popular Google Ngram.

Note that "near" and "far/distant" are relative terms. "I plan to have lunch in the near future" probably means within an hour or less. "I think people will build a colony on Mars in the near future" could mean within a decade or more.

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A definition of the idiom "in the near future" is "within a short time. The opposite of short is; long. My non-native suggestion would be the following:

In the far future.

An opposite form of your sentence could be the following:

"I want to get married in the far future"

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The sentence is structured in a way that really prohibits an explicit statement.

Could be worded as:

I don't plan on getting married anytime soon.

I won't be getting married in the foreseeable future.

Etc.

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