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I want to express the idea that if had a girlfriend, I would love to travel with her, but failing that, I will travel just by myself.

Which of the followings sounds better to you:

  1. Failing to have a girlfriend, I will travel alone.

  2. Failing of having a girlfriend, I will travel alone.

  3. For lack of a girlfriend, I will travel alone.

  4. None of these but rather something else?

Thank you

3
  • 3 is the best of your options. 2 is ungrammatical. 1 is okay but not idiomatic. You could also say, “Failing at having a girlfriend”. Or “For want of a girlfriend...”
    – Jim
    Jun 15, 2017 at 2:22
  • You said it quite well in the question: if had a girlfriend, I would love to travel with her, but failing that, I will travel just by myself. (You could get rid of "just" or put it before "travel.)
    – Xanne
    Jun 15, 2017 at 3:20
  • Hello, Kayzah. '... failing a girlfriend' is totally unidiomatic. The only example on the internet is this query. Native speakers would use 'Not having a girlfriend,' or 'As I do not have a girlfriend,'. Jul 7, 2018 at 9:17

2 Answers 2

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Failing a girlfriend, I will travel alone. (We do not use prepositions with fail when it is used for "in absence of.")

EXAMPLE:

Appointments are available on the 2nd and the 6th of this month, but failing either of those, we could fit you in on the 15th.

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  • Hello, Vipul. Though the CED example you quote (and should link to and attribute) is certainly acceptable, 'failing a girlfriend' meaning 'lacking a girlfriend' is totally unidiomatic. The only example on the internet is this query. Native speakers would use 'Not having a girlfriend,' or 'As I do not have a girlfriend,'. Jul 7, 2018 at 9:15
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3 means 'because I don't have a gf'. 'Failing a gf' would mean 'if I can't get a gf'. Which of these do you mean?

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  • Given how this is a forum about proper English language usage, it would be a good idea to use complete sentences and proper words wherever possible.
    – psosuna
    Sep 14, 2017 at 0:56

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