Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Use of 'would'

  1. #1
    smusca is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Italy
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    11
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Use of 'would'

    In the following cloze test I had a problem:
    .... Robert wanted to marry her but her father .............. not allow him to do so, probably because he thought Burns was not wealthy enough......

    My students wrote 'DID' and I corrected this to 'WOULD' but unfortunately I wasn't able to explain why!!

    I considered the use of would as (a) an obstinate resistance to an action
    or (b) past routine because the father reacted this way to all the men who wanted to marry his daughter.
    Any suggestions?
    THanks

  2. #2
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    991
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Use of 'would'

    Hi!
    Is 'did not' totally out of the question here?

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,341
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Use of 'would'

    Quote Originally Posted by smusca View Post
    In the following cloze test I had a problem:
    .... Robert wanted to marry her but her father .............. not allow him to do so, probably because he thought Burns was not wealthy enough......

    My students wrote 'DID' and I corrected this to 'WOULD' but unfortunately I wasn't able to explain why!!

    I considered the use of would as (a) an obstinate resistance to an action
    or (b) past routine because the father reacted this way to all the men who wanted to marry his daughter.
    Any suggestions?
    THanks
    I prefer "would", I see it in the same way as you, but "did" is also possible. It's not a very good cloze test.

  4. #4
    azcl is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    102
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Use of 'would'

    Quote Originally Posted by smusca View Post
    In the following cloze test I had a problem:
    .... Robert wanted to marry her but her father .............. not allow him to do so, probably because he thought Burns was not wealthy enough......

    My students wrote 'DID' and I corrected this to 'WOULD' but unfortunately I wasn't able to explain why!!

    I considered the use of would as (a) an obstinate resistance to an action
    or (b) past routine because the father reacted this way to all the men who wanted to marry his daughter.
    Any suggestions?
    THanks
    ***Not a teacher***

    In my opinion, there is a subtle difference, but both are acceptable.
    Using 'did not' is simply a statement of what happened.
    Using 'would not' is slightly more emphatic and draws a little more attention to the role of the father in this sentence in preventing the marriage.

    It is possibly a matter of verbal aspect, which is how the speaker views a situation. In the first ('did not'), the speaker/author is just reporting a historical fact viewed 'from a distance'. In the second ('would not'), the speaker is drawing you more 'inside' the experience - it is as if for an instant you are drawn back to the point in time when the father refuses permission. As I said though - it is a subtle difference, if any.

    Ade

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •