...there could come a time.

OlgaZi

Member
russian
Hellow!
I have read the "Papaya" story by Thomas Mcguane.
Some people there are Bahamian natives.
And they speak Bahamian English.
So it is not the English we study at school and so on.
And some their phrases put me in a bind.

For example:
Angela drove him in an old truck to a shack at the top of a ravine overlooking papaya fields and gave him the task of cleaning the palm rats’ nests out from under the shack’s sagging pipe bed. The window had been painted black, and Angela laughed as she pointed it out, saying, “You might want privacy! I am tellin’ you, there could come a time!”

What did Angela mean by her words?

Thank you for help.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    It is not Bahamian - it is standard English but with ellipsis:

    there could come a time = there could come (might be) a time when you want privacy.

    The verb to come can be used to mean "to arrive". In older use, "arrive" was the standard verb - it no longer is. (There could come a time -> there could arrive a time)
     

    OlgaZi

    Member
    russian
    Thank you for explanation.
    But I don't understand what she wanted to say him, as before :((
    She laughed as she said, so may be she teased or prank on him?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    We need more context than you've given us.

    Was he going to stay there? What was the relationship between him and Angela?
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    It might mean: There could, just possibly, be a time when someone wants that much privacy - but I doubt it.
     

    OlgaZi

    Member
    russian
    "We need more context than you've given us. Was he going to stay there? What was the relationship between him and Angela?"
    Please, some more context is as follows.

    He was an American young man from Florida, who was like a hippie. He run from his problems to Bahamas, thinking naively that there was some kind of tropical careless paradise. But one night he was robbed everything there, including his boat. And the local woman, Angela, discover him on the shore and took him to her papaya plantation. He was due to work there for food and live in an old shack. So Errol be captured by Angela to a kind of captivity in the Bahamas.

    "Angela drove him in an old truck to a shack at the top of a ravine overlooking papaya fields and gave him the task of cleaning the palm rats’ nests out from under the shack’s sagging pipe bed. The window had been painted black, and Angela laughed as she pointed it out, saying, “You might want privacy! I am tellin’ you, there could come a time!” She made a little furrow between her eyebrows to offset her teasing, off-center smile. She had never seen a white boy with Rasta braids before."
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi OlgaZi, since she has a ""teasing smile", "had never seen a white boy with Rasta braids before", and says "I am tellin' you", my antennae tell me that she is possibly attracted to the boy and hints that the time could come when he might want some privacy in the shack - with her.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Well that's pretty essential context ;). In any case, she could be hinting that he would be an attraction for any other woman, so if not with her, he might need that privacy with another woman. But this is speculation. You have to take the sentence at face value. The time could come when he might need privacy in the shack - for whatever reason.
     

    OlgaZi

    Member
    russian
    This borders upon truth... Good idea for this context. Thank you.
    I am just confused about set of words used to express it.
    How can I correlate/guess this idea with this particular words: "I am tellin’ you, there could come a time"?
    Language construction is difficult.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    "There" is a "dummy subject" (Cambridge), which you don't have in Russian (english-tutorial.ru). There is a book on the table. There is a man here. There is a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap ...
    There is a time, there comes a time, there could come a time

    There could come a time = a time could come
     
    Last edited:

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I am telling you = Used for emphasis. You'd better believe me.
    There could come a time = There could be a time when you need privacy.
     
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