“Hi. I couldn't help but notice you from across the room.”

English Lesson: Hi. I couldn't help but notice you from across the room.

You're at a bar. There's a beautiful woman standing with a group of friends. You want to talk to her, so you walk up to her and say this.

Hi. I couldn't help but notice you from across the room.

(someone) can't help but (do something)

Use this phrase to talk about something that you can't control.

A common word to follow "can't help but" is "wonder". This expresses something that really makes you curious:

I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like if I'd gone to college in the U.S.

When you use this phrase in the past tense, "notice" or "overhear" are common. They're a way to start a conversation with someone:

I couldn't help but notice that your t-shirt has some Korean writing on it. Do you know what it says?

I couldn't help but overhear you saying something about a film festival. Are you a filmmaker?

 

(do something) from across the room

Use this expression to talk about an action that starts on one side of a room, and reaches across to the other side. For example:

She'll sometimes throw it to him from across the room.

When I saw Janice, I yelled at her from across the room, "Hey! I've been looking for you!"


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