deep inside, I was like or I was thinking

epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
Let's say someone tells you his idea and you find it foolish. You humor him, and you don't want to express your disagreement because you don't want to offend him. Let's use this example that I've created:

When I told the librarian, "Can I borrow this book?" He corrected me by saying, "Yes you can, but you may not". Then he scanned the bar code and gave me the book. I just smiled at him and left. Deep inside, I was like, "Haven't you read the latest usage guides that you can now use can to ask for permission in colloquial contexts?"​

Another possibility:

Deep inside, I was thinking, "Are you still using that outdated grammar book?"​

We're talking about an inner thought that you do not wish to express, usually, to avoid offending the other person.
 
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  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Using "I was like" in that manner is fairly common in vernacular American English; just be aware that it's frowned on by many. But I think "deep inside" is exaggerated here. Perhaps instead say something like "... and left, but I was thinking to myself, 'Haven't you...'"
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Using "I was like" to introduce a direct quote is new (last 30 years?). It is gradually becoming acceptable in the US. But many people still don't use it, or consider it slang or very casual.

    In speech "he was like" is followed by not just the words he said, but the mannerisms, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language that went along with those words. That makes using it in writing almost impossible: in writing you can only repeat the words.

    "He said" is just followed by the words, is correct in writing, and has been used for centuries.
     
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    epistolario

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    Thanks for your answers. Sorry, I failed to clarify my question in the original post. It is related to the italicized texts. I just wanted to know the natural way of expressing an inner thought that you refused to say for personal reasons. Nevertheless, it appears that you have answered my question.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks for your answers. Sorry, I failed to clarify my question in the original post. It is related to the italicized texts. I just wanted to know the natural way of expressing an inner thought that you refused to say for personal reasons. Nevertheless, it appears that you have answered my question.
    "Deep inside" would be perfectly acceptable if what you were keeping inside were something more personal and sensitive.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would use "secret" or "secretly".

    Secretly I was thinking, "Are you still using that outdated grammar book?"
     
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