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Modal 'would'

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Postby Enigma » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:28 pm

I found quite a definitive list here: http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verb ... -would.htm

Your examples may overlap with other uses this site has described. I think some of your examples of 'would' that belong to your 'implied conditionals' sentences could instead belong to 'expressed opinions,'--would: Opinion or hope'.

It's a good list you have there. It must have taken a while to think of them all! :)
Last edited by Enigma on Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby saparris » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:20 pm

I think some of your examples of would as an implied conditional could instead be classified as an 'expressed opinion'.


Please clarify. Is the following category the place you would put implied conditional?

Opinion or hope

* I would imagine that they'll buy a new one.
* I suppose some people would call it torture.
* I would have to agree.
* I would expect him to come.
* Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best.
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Postby Enigma » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:48 pm

Hi

I edited the post above to make it clearer. :)
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Postby Enigma » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:53 pm

Would you not agree :?:
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Postby Enigma » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:03 pm

Please clarify. Is the following category the place you would put implied conditional?


It's not where I would put 'implied conditional.'

The section would: Opinion or hope is where I would say the use of 'would' in some of the implied conditionals would go.
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Postby Audiendus » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:10 pm

saparris wrote:Please clarify. Is the following category the place you would put implied conditional?

Opinion or hope

* I would imagine that they'll buy a new one.
* I suppose some people would call it torture.
* I would have to agree.
* I would expect him to come.
* Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best.


I think only the second example is definitely an implied conditional. (= I suppose some people would call it torture if they were asked.)

The first comes in my category 7 (informal present), since the 'would' can be omitted without changing the meaning.

The third and fourth could be either implied conditional or informal present.

The fifth is a sort of hybrid between a conditional (with wrong sequence of tenses) and an informal present.
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Postby Enigma » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:15 pm

Audiendus wrote:
saparris wrote:Please clarify. Is the following category the place you would put implied conditional?

Opinion or hope

* I would imagine that they'll buy a new one.
* I suppose some people would call it torture.
* I would have to agree.
* I would expect him to come.
* Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best.


I think only the second example is definitely an implied conditional. (= I suppose some people would call it torture if they were asked.)

The first comes in my category 7 (informal present), since the 'would' can be omitted without changing the meaning.

The third and fourth could be either implied conditional or informal present.

The fifth is a sort of hybrid between a conditional (with wrong sequence of tenses) and an informal present.


Sap and I were trying to classify your examples of would into the classifications provided by the link I gave. I wasn't saying they overlapped within your classifications, but you have shown this to be true also.
What you see, yet can not see over, is as good as infinite. ~Thomas Carlyle
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Postby Enigma » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:17 pm

The fifth is a sort of hybrid between a conditional (with wrong sequence of tenses) and an informal present.


Oh, those words remind me--I have a new thread regarding this. Take a look if you have the energy to read it all!
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Postby Enigma » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:16 am

Here is another opinon on the function of 'would' in this sentence:

Having found me to be an alcoholic, she did not like me and so spurned my offer. But I would attempt to warm up to her.

It functions as the past of will. Past of: She's spurning my offer, but I will attempt to warm up to her. As will is similar to is going to, would is similar to was going to. ..., but I [would / was going to] attempt to warm up to her.

But as we said, maybe it's too clipped to know for sure.
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Postby Audiendus » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:04 am

Enigma wrote:Having found me to be an alcoholic, she did not like me and so spurned my offer. But I would attempt to warm up to her.

The "would" has the future-in-the-past meaning here. That is grammatically OK, although this use is normally found in subordinate rather than main clauses. Also, it could be confused with the 'habit' past tense (= I often attempted) or the 'determination' past tense (= I was determined to attempt).
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:43 pm

O, come on!
You and 88 love to go at each other.
Welcome ACB/Audiendus, it is really good to have you
here. A good representative of the UK.
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Postby saparris » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:46 pm

The "would" has the future-in-the-past meaning here. That is grammatically OK, although this use is normally found in subordinate rather than main clauses. Also, it could be confused with the 'habit' past tense (= I often attempted) or the 'determination' past tense (= I was determined to attempt).


I agree. One could know the true intent only from context.
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Postby Enigma » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:41 pm

Audiendus wrote:
Enigma wrote:Having found me to be an alcoholic, she did not like me and so spurned my offer. But I would attempt to warm up to her.

The "would" has the future-in-the-past meaning here. That is grammatically OK, although this use is normally found in subordinate rather than main clauses. Also, it could be confused with the 'habit' past tense (= I often attempted) or the 'determination' past tense (= I was determined to attempt).


I agree that the main clause seldom contains the 'future tense' usage of 'would'. But I think, from what we have to work with, this may be the most likely case. It could be confused with habit, except that I'm sure this wasn't the author's intent; I mean, it just doesn't seem to fit into the sentence (why is the author telling us this?). I'm not sure. Do you agree? It just seems too random for it to be expressing a past habit...
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Postby Enigma » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:10 pm

What would you classify these uses of would as?

He wanted a divorce but his wife would not agree.

Yesterday morning, the car wouldn't start.
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Postby saparris » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:15 pm

Do you agree? It just seems too random for it to be expressing a past habit...


If that were the intent, the author would (or should) have written it in a different way, even if it were simply by the addition of "often."
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