Suffocating vs suffocated

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Hatgray

Senior Member
India
Hi,

I am wondering about these two sentences.

1. When she is not here, I am suffocating.

Is this a shortened version of I feel like I am suffocating?

2. When she is not here, I am suffocated.

I think this is also an accpetable usage.



Are these sentences both grammatically correct?

Thank you.
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    The first sounds odd because of the use of the present continuous tense in a conditional situation. The second is grammatically correct but I don't understand what it means.

    Why would someone suffocate because someone else is not there? Please explain what you're trying to say.
     

    Hatgray

    Senior Member
    India
    The first sounds odd because of the use of the present continuous tense in a conditional situation. The second is grammatically correct but I don't understand what it means.

    Why would someone suffocate because someone else is not there? Please explain what you're trying to say.

    But is the first one also right gramatically?

    If someone is important to you, you feel like you are suffocating without them.

    Thank you.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    But is the first one also right gramatically?
    The first one might be grammatical but it sounds very odd. I'd advise you not to use it.
    If someone is important to you, you feel like you are suffocating without them.
    Saying you feel suffocated because someone isn't there is not a natural way of saying that person is important to you.

    Could you please elaborate on what exactly you mean by "suffocating" here and why that person is important to you?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Is this a shortened version of I feel like I am suffocating?
    No.
    If someone is important to you, you feel like you are suffocating without them.
    If that is your meaning, that is what you should say.

    Like Barque, I find it a strange thing to say, but if you feel as though you cannot breathe when "someone" is away then it does describe your feeling.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's a pity. When she gets back she'll be late for your funeral. :)

    There's a world of difference between "I feel like I'm suffocating" and "I suffocate".
     

    Hatgray

    Senior Member
    India
    No.
    If that is your meaning, that is what you should say.

    Like Barque, I find it a strange thing to say, but if you feel as though you cannot breathe when "someone" is away then it does describe your feeling.

    But sometimes you are allowed in english to omit some words and still retain the meaning.

    However, is it still grammatical?

    Thanks.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    But sometimes you are allowed in english to omit some words and still retain the meaning.
    What words have you omitted?
    However, is it still grammatical?
    Are you referring to the first sentence or the concept?
    If you mean the sentence it might be grammatical but it's incorrect because it's unnatural. I see no point in discussing something that isn't a natural sentence.

    If you mean the concept, I had asked you to elaborate on what you meant. It's a forum rule that context and background have to be provided for sentences that you ask about.
     

    Hatgray

    Senior Member
    India
    What words have you omitted?

    Are you referring to the first sentence or the concept?
    If you mean the sentence it might be grammatical but it's incorrect because it's unnatural. I see no point in discussing something that isn't a natural sentence.

    If you mean the concept, I had asked you to elaborate on what you meant. It's a forum rule that context and background have to be provided for sentences that you ask about.
    I am referring to the first one.

    The concept is feeling like you are suffocated (can't breathe) when someone is not around.

    My question is if it is grammatical. It can be unusual but I think that doesn't mean that is incorrect.

    Thank you.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Barque, I don't see that we need any more background.
    If someone is important to you, you feel like you are suffocating without them.
    If Hatgray feels like he is suffocating when somebody important to him isn't there, that's what he feels. We can deal with the English.

    Do the two sentences in the OP mean "When she is not here, I feel like I am suffocating"?
    Answer: no they don't

    But sometimes you are allowed in English to omit some words and still retain the meaning.
    Yes, but not to omit a verb that is essential to the meaning!
     

    Hatgray

    Senior Member
    India
    Barque, I don't see that we need any more background.
    If Hatgray feels like he is suffocating when somebody important to him isn't there, that's what he feels. We can deal with the English.

    Do the two sentences in the OP mean "When she is not here, I feel like I am suffocating"?
    Answer: no they don't

    Yes, but not to omit a verb that is essential to the meaning!

    This means that they are both grammatical right? Unusal but grammatical?

    Do you agree with Barque saying that unusal items are incorrect despite them being grammatical?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    My question is if it is grammatical.
    Yes, it's grammatical. And yes, I agree that a sentence can be unusual but still correct but this sentence is more than unusual. It's unnatural. There's a difference.
    1. When she is not here, I am suffocating.
    A more natural way of saying this would be: I feel suffocated/as if I'm suffocating when she's not around.
    Barque, I don't see that we need any more background.
    You may not but I do.:)
    The OP did not provide any background or explanation of what he wanted to say in his first three posts. He elaborated in his fourth. I couldn't be sure that he did actually mean "suffocate" till then.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    You asked a question about meaning. The sentences you asked about do not mean what you wanted them to mean. I see no point in trying to discuss the grammar of sentences that have no clear meaning. "The tree sang blackly" is grammatical, but is meaningless.
     

    Hatgray

    Senior Member
    India
    You asked a question about meaning. The sentences you asked about do not mean what you wanted them to mean. I see no point in trying to discuss the grammar of sentences that have no clear meaning. "The tree sang blackly" is grammatical, but is meaningless.
    That was my purpose but meaning is very subjective.

    It does not mean the literal interpretation but it can be a figure of speech.

    Thank you for your assistance.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I am suffocating - I can't breathe.
    I am suffocated - Someone suffocates me. (Passive verb form)

    When she is not here I suffocate (I can't breathe). The continuous verb form is not normally used when with "when" or "whenever". It is used to talk about something that is happening right now.

    I'm perfectly happy with "I suffocate" being used either as a metaphor or as an exaggeration.
     

    Hatgray

    Senior Member
    India
    I am suffocating - I can't breathe.
    I am suffocated - Someone suffocates me. (Passive verb form)

    When she is not here I suffocate (I can't breathe). The continuous verb form is not normally used when with "when" or "whenever". It is used to talk about something that is happening right now.

    I'm perfectly happy with "I suffocate" being used either as a metaphor or as an exaggeration.
    Yes you got my point.

    Are they grammatical, in your opinion?
    1. When she is not here, I am suffocating.

    3. When she is not here , I am suffocated.

    Thanks
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No. Your #1 and #3 don't express what you want to say.

    If I tried to provide some context where they might be grammatical, they would mean something different. (I'm not going to, so don't ask.)
     
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