unconsciously

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bg1996

Senior Member
Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
" 'I was very unsure of myself after the divorce,' she says, unconsciously sweeping back the curls from her forehead."

What's the meaning of "unconsciously"? She isn't aware that she is sweeping her curls back?(She does sweep) or She forgets to sweep(She doesn't but she ought to sweep)? If one explanation is right, how is the other expressed? And, which is better between "the curls" and "her curls". It's confused that "curls" is with "the" and "forehead" is with "her".
 
  • Murellus

    Senior Member
    English
    Unconsiously usually means some action that doesn't require any thought.

    She isn't aware that she is sweeping her curls back?(She does sweep) :tick:
    That's how I would describe it.

    She forgets to sweep(She doesn't but she ought to sweep)?:
    There are lots of possibilities but if you could give us a motive for curling so some wouldn't sound irrelevant (Sorry if my expression is clunky, I'm really tired).

    And, which is better between "the curls" and "her curls". It's confused that "curls" is with "the" and "forehead" is with "her".
    Keep the sentence as to what it is right now. The other possibilities sound repetitive or don't make any sense.
     

    Teafrog

    Senior Member
    UK English (& rusty French…)
    " 'I was very unsure of myself after the divorce,' she says, unconsciously sweeping back the curls from her forehead."

    What's the meaning of "unconsciously"?

    She isn't aware that she is sweeping her curls back? :thumbsup: yes

    If one explanation is right, how is the other expressed? :confused: not sure of your question here. Could you please rephrase it?

    And, which is better: "the curls" :thumbsup: correct
    I hope it helps. :)
     

    bg1996

    Senior Member
    Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
    Thanks, Tea. My meaning is: Which word can replace "unconsciously" to express "She doesn't but she ought to sweep."? But Murellus says there are lots of possibilities(She doesn't but she ought to sweep.) when "unconsciously" is used.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello bg1996. I don't understand why you want to express "She doesn't but she ought to sweep", as it has no connection with the original sentence.

    Sweeping back the curls from her forehead = sweeping back the curls [which are on her forehead] from her forehead.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Thanks, Tea. My meaning is: Which word can replace "unconsciously" to express "She doesn't but she ought to sweep."? But Murellus says there are lots of possibilities(She doesn't but she ought to sweep.) when "unconsciously" is used.
    There is no single word that I can think of to replace "unconsciously" in the original sentence to express that she does not sweep the curls from her forehead when she should. Any word that replaces "unconsciously" would simply describe how she swept the curls from her forehead. It can't negate the fact that she did sweep them back.

    Something like this might work:

    "'I was very unsure of myself after the divorce,' she says, neglecting to sweep back the (unruly) curls that have tumbled over her forehead."
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    There is no single word that I can think of to replace "unconsciously" in the original sentence to express that she does not sweep the curls from her forehead when she should. Any word that replaces "unconsciously" would simply describe how she swept the curls from her forehead. It can't negate the fact that she did sweep them back.

    Something like this might work:

    "'I was very unsure of myself after the divorce,' she says, neglecting to sweep back the (unruly) curls that have tumbled over her forehead."
    Or maybe:

    --"I was very unsure of myself after the divorce," she says, too deep in thoughts/forgetting to sweep back the curls from her forehead.
     

    bg1996

    Senior Member
    Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
    Hello bg1996. I don't understand why you want to express "She doesn't but she ought to sweep", as it has no connection with the original sentence.

    Sweeping back the curls from her forehead = sweeping back the curls [which are on her forehead] from her forehead.
    Hi, Emma, I just thought she was devote to express her feeling after her divoice, so she forgot to sweep the curls from her forehead. And it didn't look good-looking that the curls were on her forehead and it could make someone feel a little uncomfortable(maybe because it was as hot as hk these days).
     
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