he just wanted to beat his head against the wall to die.

namlan

Banned
Vietnam
Dear friends,

a. He taught very badly this morning and he just wanted to beat his head against the wall to die.

- Is this natural to say?

Thanks a bunch

NamLan.
 
  • . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Almost;

    He taught very badly this morning and he just wanted to beat his head against the wall and die.

    The tenses will only be correct if this is said during the same morning that he taught so badly that he wanted to die otherwise a tweak is required thus;

    He taught very badly that morning and he just wanted to beat his head against the wall and die.

    .,,
     

    vachecow

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hello NamLan! Welcome to the forums!

    This sentence would sound a little bit awkward to a native speaker.
    I would say it like this:
    He taught very badly poorly this morning and he just wanted to beat his head against thea wall to die.

    While very badly is common, it isn't proper English.

    Usually the expression is to beat one's head against a wall

    The to die part is a part of that expression that I haven't heard, and I think it is unnecessary.


    You could get rid of the just as well, but I think it is ok if it stays.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Poorly is not quite as intense as very badly.
    I disagree that there is anything unusual about the use of very badly in this context. It leaves me under no confusion.

    You are correct about the wall being wrong. I didn't notice it. 'A wall' is obviously correct.

    The lack of 'to die' removes emphasis. It is obviously not seriously said but merely to reinforce the level of regret.
    I doubt that the person would do more than tap their forehead on a wall so the whole sentence is rather fanciful.

    Now that you mention it there is an extra he. The second is redundant.

    He taught very badly that morning and just wanted to beat his head against a wall and die.

    .,,
     

    vachecow

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Now that I read it again I think that you are right about "poorly."

    For the second part, I should have just remived the "to." I knew something was wrong so I lazily chopped the whole piece off.
    Mea Culpa.

    VC
     
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