If, "I saw her about to do it" is correct, then "I saw her ready to do it" is correct?

Also, how about, "I saw her sure to do it" ?
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I'd say no.

Perhaps, "I saw her determined / resolved to do it."

It's a tough distinction. The question is, are we talking about her state of mind, or her physical situation?

In this case, I take "about to" and "ready to" as state of mind, and "sure to" doesn't fit.

It can certainly be argued both ways. It depends on the act. Ready to do what?

Ready to pull the trigger - state of mind. "Determined to pull the trigger."

About to jump off a cliff - state of mind. "Determined to jump off a cliff."

Ready to fall off a cliff - physical situation. "Sure to fall off a cliff."

About to be hit by a train - physical situation. "Sure to be hit by a train."

My problem with "sure" is that although "I'm sure I want to do it" means "I'm determined I want to do it," "I saw her sure to do it" is not normally used that way.

How do you know what's in her mind? Do you have information you're not telling us about?

"I saw her." (Perhaps you don't even know her) You have to make a judgement about what she intends to do. Is she about to pull the trigger??

"I saw her about to be hit by a train." Assuming she's not trying to commit suicide, you're not talking about her intention, but her physical situation. It's beyond her control.

Anyway, in my humble opinion, "ready" and "about" work for both types.

"Determined" and "resolved" work only in describing her state of mind.

"Sure" works only in describing her physical situation.

I hope this makes sense. Emotion: smile

I think he needs a simpler answer.

'I saw her about to do it' - Would do it in the next action.
'I saw her ready to do it' - Prepared but may not do it immediately.
"I saw her sure to do it" - Wrong usage.

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Hi Iris, Can you give us a simpler reason why "sure" is wrong? [Y][N]
Hi Avagi,

I thought that was wrong. Can you show me an example when to use this sentence "I saw her sure to do it"?

<<I saw her about to do it" is correct, then "I saw her ready to do it" is correct?" I saw her sure to do it" ?>>

To me, we are wasting effort on badly formed sentences. I don't think any native speaker or anyone with good English would say that.


1- When I saw her, she was about to do it.

2- When I saw her, she was getting ready to do it

3- When I saw her, she was so sure about doing it

4- I saw her getting ready to do it
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iris_es I thought that was wrong. Can you show me an example when to use this sentence "I saw her sure to do it"?
Hi, iris. I thought you were kicking my butt. Emotion: big smile My explanations are notoriously long and convoluted.

Actually I began by saying "sure" was wrong. But I have to look at and ask, "what's wrong with it?"

I thought your post was right on. I was hoping you could add a little something on "sure." I had a terrible time trying to explain it.

I could see that she was sure to fail. I think this works. What's the difference? I think I can explain it, but it may take me a page or so. Usually more questions pop up along the way.

Best wishes, - A.Emotion: smile

Thanks all, Avangi, Iris, and Goodman....

Here are some examples of "saw someone to do something".

Iliad by Homer translated into English.


The son of Phyleus saw Amphiclus about to attack him, and ere he could do so took aim at the upper part of his thigh, where the muscles are thicker than in any other part; the spear tore through all the sinews of the leg, and his eyes were closed in darkness.


Sixes and Sevens by O Henry

"I never saw anybody about to hand in his checks act more peaceful than

this fellow. His eyes were fixed 'way up in the air, and he was using

rambling words to himself all about sweet music and beautiful streets and

white-robed forms, and he was smiling like dying was a pleasure.


I didn't know I really did anything important. I'm not even Muslim. I just saw someone about to make a mistake and do bad things, but the timing was right, and it clicked.

http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/champions-league/walcott-lauds-adebayor-magic -181104/

"We all know how much quality Cesc has and when I saw him about to look for me with the pass I had another idea in mind," Adebayor said on www.uefa.com.

http://www.classicreader.com/book /1148/33/

My father said, too, that when he was dead, and I saw Pandafilando about to invade my kingdom.


as he saw Houseman about to interrupt him


That is what a Christian of this same Village said., when he saw himself about to be abandoned by his wife and children, in consequence of the persecutions of his mother-in-law, who could not bear to have him in her house when she found that he was a Christian:


and when he saw Euryalus about to suffer death from Volscens,

rushed forth to save him, only to fall dead upon the body of his

slaughtered friend.


"Come on!" cried Tom, quickly, as, turning', he saw the accident about to happen. "Your craft will surely be smashed if she slips to the ground, Mr. Halling!"


On arriving, he saw the soldiers about to take aim.


Vidimus milites urbem capturos. -->We saw the soldiers about to capture the city.

Edit. if you look at Goodman's post, you'll see that "sure" has two meanings. It can be the state of mind of a person, or it can be the physical likelihood that something will happen. He uses the personal state of mind approach, but it becomes necessary to completely change the structure of the sentence.

I saw the shopping cart sure to roll into the path of the oncoming bus. I think this works.

I saw her sure to fall on the icy stairs. I think this works. This is a physical situation.

I saw her about to take a shower. This is her state of mind, or her purpose, which I was able to determine by what I saw.

But I just can't seem to fit "sure" as a state of mind into this formula.
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