replace / substitute / change / exchange problems

Saltie

Senior Member
Russian, Russia, Sochi
Hi!
If I wanted to say that some people try to avoid their problems in their real lives and watch movies so that they can feel problems of fictional characters instead, what would be the correct way to say that? My ideas:
1. Some people watch TV because they try to replace their real-life problems with those of movie characters.
2. Some people watch TV because they try to substitute their real-life problems for those of movie characters.
3. Some people watch TV because they try to exchange their real-life problems for those of movie charecters.
4. Some people watch TV because they try to change their real-life problems for those of movie charecters.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think the third is the most natural; the first might be okay in the UK, but I'm not sure.

    2. strikes me as not natural at all.
     

    tobyK

    New Member
    Korean
    How to use 'substitute' is very confusing for me. If I want to have a baked potato instead of french fries, should I say, i'd like to substitute a baked potato for fries or I'd like to substitute fries for a baked potato?
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    How to use 'substitute' is very confusing for me. If I want to have a baked potato instead of french fries, should I say, i'd like to substitute a baked potato for fries or I'd like to substitute fries for a baked potato?
    You want to substitute a baked potato for French fries. (You do want a baked potato.)
    You want to replace the French fries by / with a baked potato. (You do not want French fries.)

    Or - probably a more common way to say it -
    You want (to have) a baked potato instead of French fries.
    So your first way of saying it was probably the best.:)
     
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