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Thread: Would

  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Would

    "I would be surprised if they wouldn't make the playoffs."

    That sentence doesn't sound right to me; I think "wouldn't" should be "didn't." Is the sentence correct as it is?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    opa6x57's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "I would be surprised if they wouldn't make the playoffs."

    That sentence doesn't sound right to me; I think "wouldn't" should be "didn't." Is the sentence correct as it is?

    Thanks!

    I agree... didn't is the proper word. Although, to be truthful, I'm not sure the original sentence is not grammatically correct as it it - it just sounds wrong. I would never say it that way.


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    Not a teacher, 53-year-old American.
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    Ö and thatís my opinion

  3. #3
    balakrishnanijk is offline Member
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    Default Re: Would

    This structure is very informal, and is normally not used in written English.
    It is commonly found in spoken American English.

    It would be nice if she would tell everybody in advance.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by opa6x57 View Post
    I agree... didn't is the proper word. Although, to be truthful, I'm not sure the original sentence is not grammatically correct as it it - it just sounds wrong. I would never say it that way.
    As usual, the sentence would be correct if it meant what it says. However, if the speaker means "didn't", then "wouldn't" is wrong. It's not a question of using 'didn't' to mean 'wouldn't'. The sentence is correct if the speaker means "wouldn't" - but it's difficult to think of a context for that ^[see below].

    This sentence is easier: "It would be nice if she would tell everybody in advance."
    In this case it can mean "wouldn't" (as spoken).
    A: Would you tell everyone in advance (on some condition)?
    B: No, I wouldn't.
    A: Well, it would be nice if you would.
    For this, you could also say, "It would be nice if you told everyone in advance."

    ^ "I would be surprised if they wouldn't make the playoffs even if they started with twice the number of points."
    Proposition:
    They wouldn't make the playoffs even if they started with twice as many points.
    Your reaction to the proposition: That would surprise me.
    It doesn't surprise you if they don't make the playoffs. It would surprise you if they wouldn't even make the playoffs given those conditions. But can you really be surprised by a hypothetical proposition?

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    As usual, the sentence would be correct if it meant what it says. However, if the speaker means "didn't", then "wouldn't" is wrong. It's not a question of using 'didn't' to mean 'wouldn't'. The sentence is correct if the speaker means "wouldn't" - but it's difficult to think of a context for that ^[see below].

    This sentence is easier: "It would be nice if she would tell everybody in advance."
    In this case it can mean "wouldn't" (as spoken).
    A: Would you tell everyone in advance (on some condition)?
    B: No, I wouldn't.
    A: Well, it would be nice if you would.
    For this, you could also say, "It would be nice if you told everyone in advance."

    ^ "I would be surprised if they wouldn't make the playoffs even if they started with twice the number of points."
    Proposition:
    They wouldn't make the playoffs even if they started with twice as many points.
    Your reaction to the proposition: That would surprise me.
    It doesn't surprise you if they don't make the playoffs. It would surprise you if they wouldn't even make the playoffs given those conditions. But can you really be surprised by a hypothetical proposition?
    I enjoyed reading that!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Would

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I enjoyed reading that!
    Why, thank you, Sir. I enjoyed writing it.

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