+0
What is the best way to say that Michael wasn't Andrew's boyfriend at the time Mum spotted him but was at the time this was written?

Q1. Which of the below work?
Q2. Which is your preferred choice?
Q3. Would you write it differently?

a. I hear Mum was able to spot out Andrew's then 'soon-to-be' boyfriend, Michael, while on visit.

b. I hear Mum was able to spot out Andrew's soon-to-be boyfriend, Michael while on visit.

c. I hear Mum was able to spot out Andrew's now boyfriend, Michael, while on visit.

d. I hear Mum was able to spot out Andrew's current boyfriend, Michael, while on visit.

Here are my interpretations:

(a) I think a is best, because it explicitly states both that Michael wasn't Andrew's boyfriend at the time Mum spotted him but was at the time this was written.

(b) I think b is wrong because it says Michael is not his boyfriend at the time Mum noticed him or at the time this was written. Instead it states he would be Andrew's boyfriend some time after this was written.

(c & d) I think c and d state that Michael is his boyfriend now and the fact we have included the words 'now' or 'current' implies Michael wasn't his boyfriend at the time Mum spotted him.
Comments  
Hi,

Note that 'spot out' is not correct. Just say 'spot'.

'On visit' is not correct. You need to say it some other way, and to make it clear which of these people were doing the visiting.

Yes, A is best.

With all of these, my basic question is this. If the focus is not on Michael's role as a boyfriend, then what was it that Mum was able to spot? Did she just say or think 'Oh, there is Michael'?
In a visit, we normally meet a person, rather than 'spot a person'.

Do you realize that 'boyfriend' in reference to two men implies a homosexual relationship?

Clive
Clive'On visit' is not correct. You need to say it some other way, and to make it clear which of these people were doing the visiting.
OK, thanks. How about this then?

While mum visited her son Andrew in Australia, I hear she noticed Andrew's then 'soon-to-be' boyfriend, Michael.

Is there a better way of saying it than 'then soon-to-be'?
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
English 1b3OK, thanks. How about this then?While mum visited her son Andrew in Australia, I hear she noticed Andrew's then 'soon-to-be' boyfriend, Michael.Is there a better way of saying it than 'then soon-to-be'?
Sorry, please ignore my previous post. I will try explain the intended meaning first, as I realise the above sentence still isn't clear:

Mum noticed that Michael was 'in to' (keen on, liked or whatever you would like to call it) her son, Andrew. She noticed this at a time when Michael was not Andrew's boyfriend. However, Michael was his boyfriend at the time the sentence was written.

I hope that more clearly explains the intended meaning, and here is my attempt at conveying this:

When Mum visited her son, Andrew, in Australia, I hear she could tell his soon-to-be boyfriend, Michael, liked him.

(I know there could be easier ways to write this, but I guess I'm more interested in finding out how to use 'then soon-to-be' in a sentence and whether or not there is a better phrase or word to use)
How about something a lot simpler: I heard when Mum was in Australia, she figured out that Michael would be Andrew's boyfriend even before Andrew did.
Hi GG, your sentence is much clearer, but as I said in my previous post, which I totally understand if you didn't read, I acknowledged that my sentence isn't the best way to convey what I'm trying to say. I worded it in this way so that I could use the phrase 'then soon-to-be' which is what my question is based around - i.e. whether or not there is a better phrase to use (sorry, I didn't make this clear in my original post.).
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi,

How about this then?

While Mum visited her son Andrew in Australia, I hear she noticed Andrew's then 'soon-to-be' boyfriend, Michael.

Is there a better way of saying it than 'then soon-to-be'? This is fine, and quite typical of casual everyday English.

I suppose you could say eg . . . she noticed Michael, who would soon become Andrew's boyfriend,

But your way has more life.Emotion: smile

Clive