Is it correct to use "actual self" in the following context:

As she was dead long time ago, her descendants could not have possibly seen her actual self.

  • Yes, it is appropriate. – Dan Bron Oct 3 '15 at 11:04
  • 2
    As she has been dead for a long time or As she died a long time ago. I would suggest using "met her in person". – user140086 Oct 3 '15 at 11:09
  • There are other, probably better, ways to word it, but the last part is fine as stated. As Rathony points out, though, the first part could use some work. – Hot Licks Oct 3 '15 at 12:21
  • Dunno whether it is pertinent here, but be aware that "actual" and "actually" are false friends for certain languages, such as French. In such languages, the apparent friend actually (!) means "current" or "currently" in English. In English, "actual" and "actually" are essentially synonymous with "real" and "really", respectively. This is a problem for native English speakers who encounter such misuses of "actual" and "actually", especially when those words do make sense in the current context (but they do not mean what was intended). – Drew Oct 3 '15 at 16:43

There is nothing especially wrong with the term actual self, though to some extent, I am having to guess at what is means.

If you mean her real self, as opposed to her pretended or false self, then why not use real self ?

I think we need some wider context from you to understand exactly what you are getting at with actual self.

Incidentally the opening clause of your sentence I think needs to read As she had been dead a long time... or As she died a long time ago..., in order to be grammatical.

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