Which one sounds natural? Is there any difference in meaning between them? Do I need to change those for sounding natural?

 

1. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs can be unless you listen to it.

2. You can't even imagine how beautiful  Hindi songs could be unless you listen to it.

Original Post

Hi, Toaha,

@Toaha posted:

Which one sounds natural? Is there any difference in meaning between them? Do I need to change those for sounding natural?

 

1. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs can be unless you listen to it.

2. You can't even imagine how beautiful  Hindi songs could be unless you listen to it.

You had better say: 'No one can imagine (how beautiful Hindi songs are / the magic of the Hindi songs) unless they listen to them.'

Last edited by ahmed_btm

Dear Ahmed,

@ahmed_btm posted:

You had better say: 'No one can imagine (how beautiful Hindi songs are / the magic of the Hindi songs) unless they listen to them.'

I agree that the use of the present is possible (how beautiful Hindi songs are), but I don't think there's anything wrong with "can be" if we want to refer to the potential effect Hindi songs can have on listeners (rather than to the inherent nature of Hindi songs).

Also, I think I wouldn't use the article and would just say "the magic of Hindi songs," since this is a generic plural.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor
@Toaha posted:
1. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs can be unless you listen to it.

2. You can't even imagine how beautiful  Hindi songs could be unless you listen to it.

Hi, Toahaβ€”To add to Ahmed and Gustavo's comments, I'd like to suggest that the present simple be changed to the present perfect in the "unless"-clause. Then either sentence can be used, but with a difference in meaning. Since I think "it" refers to a Hindi song that the speaker loves, I am changing "it" to "this song."

1a. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs can be unless you have listened to this song.

2a. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs could be unless you have listened to this song.

Sentence (1a) has the meaning that is most likely. The speaker thinks that "this song" exemplifies the great potential for beauty that Hindi songs have, so that someone can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs can be if they have not heard it.

Sentence (2a) has a less likely meaning. The speaker thinks that Hindi songs could be more beautiful than they are and that "this song," while not very beautiful itself, contains enough beauty to hint that Hindi songs have the potential to be very beautiful.

Last edited by David, Moderator

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