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  1. #1
    Ulysses is offline Junior Member
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    Funny sentence as in funny weird

    Why does the 'would' in the following sentence sound weird?

    Money should be the last thing on a personís mind and a public option for healthcare would solve this.

  2. #2
    crclee is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Funny sentence as in funny weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulysses View Post
    Why does the 'would' in the following sentence sound weird?

    Money should be the last thing on a personís mind and a public option for healthcare would solve this.
    Hi

    The writer of this sentence is making an unstated assumption (that readers are expected to understand) and is using "would" to indicate that this assumption is a hypothetical idea.

    If I were to rewrite this sentence with the assumption "added", it would look something like this (the assumption is in blue):

    Money should be the last thing on a personís mind and a public option for healthcare would solve this if money were on a person's mind (and if that were considered to be a problem).

    Now to be honest, this writer's argument is a little unclear because the connection between money and public healthcare is unclear, and because the word "solve" suggests a problem but having money on the mind is not obviously a problem. So, let me give another example that should clarify this usage of would:

    Anyone would be happy to win the lottery.

    Again this sentence has an unstated hypothetical idea. If this were stated (again in blue), the sentence would look like this:

    Anyone would be happy to win the lottery if he/she/they were to win.

    I hope this is clear.

  3. #3
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    Re: Funny sentence as in funny weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulysses View Post
    Why does the 'would' in the following sentence sound weird?

    Money should be the last thing on a personís mind and a public option for healthcare would solve this.
    Hi!

    I'm not a native speaker and this sentence, which is obviously out of a wider context, is a bit confusing for me. It seems to me that the determiner this = money should be the last thing on a person's mind and consequently a public option for healthcare would solve the problem of person's preoccupation with money. (which doesn't make sense)

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: Funny sentence as in funny weird

    The "would" is conditional - it means "If a health care bill were passed with a public option, it WOULD solve the problem of thinking about money when your health is at stake.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Ulysses is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Funny sentence as in funny weird

    What if the sentence is:

    Money should be the last thing on people’s mind and a public option for healthcare would solve this.

    Does it still make sense if 'a person' changes to plural?

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Funny sentence as in funny weird

    It's okay - you might want to clarify that you mean that to apply during a health care crisis, as opposed to EVER. (If I lost my job, money would be on my mind, and no health care plan in the world will help me pay the mortgage without a job.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Funny sentence as in funny weird

    Actually, I like it better in the singular. It means each person, one at a time, should not have this worry. My health care crisis is mine - money won't be my worry while you are sick (even if I feel compassion for you, etc.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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