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  1. #1
    Intoarut is offline Newbie
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    Default I'm scared he'd deny it

    Hi everyone: I'm having a look at an exercise on vocabulary related to fears and worries. (It's not a grammar exercise.) Anyway, I've noticed the following pattern:

    I'm petrified/worried/scared s/he'd do something

    What I can't understand is the use of "would". (I'd say, "I'm scared he'll deny it.") Any help on this one? Thanks!

  2. #2
    ladyredrose is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I'm scared he'd deny it

    In my opinion, it is better to use "I'm worried he will deny it" because it is how you will feel in a situation which has not happened yet. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I'm scared he'd deny it

    I think she'll do something works better.

  4. #4
    Intoarut is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I'm scared he'd deny it

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: I'm scared he'd deny it

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I think she'll do something works better.


    I think what has happened - as often happens in speech - is that the grammar gets derailed. The thought behind the words is 'I'm scared [that, if I asked her] she'd...'
    So backshifting happens in the thought behind the words, but doesn't belong in the actual words used.

    b

  6. #6
    Intoarut is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I'm scared he'd deny it

    Thanks Bob! That's a crystal clear explanation.

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