Miscellaneous items #012
If she were a man …..
How would one say, in Croatian “If it were to rain, I would go to Zagreb.”?
Well, the words that one uses depends on who one is. [Excuse my talking like a toffee, but you will see that I am trying to avoid defining the gender of “one”]
Ivan would say: Da pada kiša, ja bih išao u Zagreb.
But Marija would say: Da pada kiša, ja bih išla u Zagreb.
Of course, they differ in the past tense of the verb: Ivan says bih išao, but Marija says bih išla.
Now, it is not uncommon for us to say “If I were him, I would do ….(such and such)”.
Let’s suppose that Marija wants to say “If I were Ivan, I would go to Zagreb”.
Dilemma! Does she say … “ja bih išla”, or because she is imagining that she is Ivan, “ja bih išao”?
Well, it is difficult to express the logic of this, but Marija would say “Da sam ja Ivan, ja bih išla u Zagreb”.
Yes, she remains female, even if she is referring to the possibility of being a male.
And Ivan might say .....
thus retaining his manliness.
If Marija wants to quote what Ivan would say …….
Da sam ja Ivan, ja bih rekla ‘Da pada kiša, ja bih išao u Zagreb’.
[If I were Ivan, I would say “If it were to rain, I would go to Zagreb.”]
And what might Ivan say?
There is a common saying in English, when referring to someone who is confused: “They don’t know whether they are Arthur or Martha!”
But in this case, Arthur and Martha ….. oops, Ivan and Marija … are not at all confused.
I know that for some reason, many of my friends are not 100% sure whether I am Arthur or Martha ......
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