to become someone else

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Hello, everyone

deny
2) If you deny someone or something, you say that they have no connection with you or do not belong to you.
I denied my father because I wanted to become someone else.
(Collins)

The sentence means:
My father wanted (and insisted strongly) me to become (e.g.) a priest. But I wanted to become someone else (e.g. a lawyer) and that is why I've disavowed my father.
Am I right?
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I think it means rather: I didn't want to acknowledge/adopt my father's characteristics/behaviours because I wanted to be an independent individual, or perhaps a better person"
    In your example I think one would say:"I denied my father's wishes/expectations because I wanted to do something different"
     

    Proudy

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You enter an unclear area with this portion of that statement "I denied my father"
    Traditionally, to deny one's father is to claim he is no longer your father, not to refuse to obey his instruction. For your example, the better choice would be "I denied my father's wishes" since it appears that you will accept him as your father, but you have chosen to pursue other goals.

    A second choice could be "I defied my father because I wanted to become someone else."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    But I'd like to understand why the "traditional meaning" of denying one's father doesn't work here... I really don't understand.
    And am I right that "to become someone else" means that my father wanted me "to become a person of a certain type / profession, while I wanted to become a person of other type"?
     

    Proudy

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The traditional meaning "to deny" is much more harsh than may be intended. It could be used, if that were the case. It would not be wrong.

    "I denied my father because I wanted to become someone else." This would mean that because you and your father did not agree on what you should become, you no longer consider that man to be your father. I have known families where that happened, but it is a harsh reality for a differnece of opinion.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    But the definition says: "you say that they have no connection with you or do not belong to you"
    It is as if I said: "from now on I have no father":)
    Am I wrong?
    You are not necessarily wrong but, to me, it means "I don't like my father's personality so I want to develop my own" rather than i refuse to acknowledge that you are my father.

    'I denied my father because I wanted to become something else' would fit your sentence.
     
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