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General Writing and Grammar Help/What I meant to write - what I wanted to write

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Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following should I write in a follow-up message to you?

1) What I meant to write was this.....

2) What I wanted to write was this.....

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Which of the following should I write in a follow-up message to you?

1) What I meant to write was this.....

2) What I wanted to write was this.....

*** The first one is correct; the second one is not.  

MEANT -- what is intended

WANTED -- what is desired

*** In this situation, you INTENDED to write one thing, but you made an error.  "What I wanted to write" means that, despite your desire to write it, you were unable to, because of unexplained reasons.  Let's suppose that you wanted to write something, but your internet connection went down or was broken.  Thus, you were unable to fulfill your desire to write.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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