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  1. #1
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    Default would hope? Isn't hope a state verb?

    Hi
    In the following statement, that the correct alternative is 'would hope', I wonder what the reason can be?

    I always sat at the back of the bus, even though it used to be the hottest place, and I wouldn't/didn't use to/ would hope that no one could see me.

    Based on my grammar reference book, we can't use 'would' with state verbs. I'm looking for a good reason, again in that book I found, sometimes it's possible to have some state verbs in the progressive form to denote a temporary situation. But how about this one?
    Could you kindly help me with a good justification?

    Thanks a million.
    Being a non-native teacher, I'm so thrilled being in such a superb forum.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: would hope? Isn't hope a state verb?

    We can use 'would' with verbs used statively:

    I would be delighted to see you at the function next week.
    If they paid me enough, I would be in Moscow tomorrow.
    In the summer holidays I would often be left on my own for days.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: would hope? Isn't hope a state verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    We can use 'would' with verbs used statively:

    I would be delighted to see you at the function next week.
    If they paid me enough, I would be in Moscow tomorrow.
    In the summer holidays I would often be left on my own for days.
    Actually I mean using would to refer to repeated actions in the past that are no longer done these days. Could you please help me with these questions.
    1. Can we use 'would' with all the state verbs?
    2. Is it weird to use 'would' with state verbs? because based on grammar reference books, we can't use it with state verbs (However, I trust what you said, as a native speaker. I just want to know if it's the matter of being prevalent or not) or are there some exceptions?

    Thanks a million.
    Being a non-native teacher, I'm so thrilled being in such a superb forum.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: would hope? Isn't hope a state verb?

    Swan in his section on would/used to(p 623) says, "...only used to can refer to past states". However, when I look at his list of verbs not usd in progressive forms, i.e. verbs commonly referred to as 'state/stative' verbs (p 457), I find that I can create sentences with 'would' for most of them.

    Swan, Michael (2005) Practical English Usage, Oxford: OUP

    The reason is that 'would' has an element of the idea of 'volition', in my opinion. It is therefore not used to refer to states that simply exist, but can be used if the speaker/writer sees a situation as being in the slightest way under control, repeatable, and/or of limited duration. Compare:

    1a. In those days everybody believed/used to believe everything their village priest told them.
    1b. In those days people would believe everything their village priest told them.

    In #1a, the speaker is simply presenting the fact of on-going belief; in #1b, there is more of a suggestion that the village priests did tell people things, and people were willing to believe them on every occasion that this happened.

    2a. Before the days of central heating, bedrooms were/used to be very cold in winter.
    2b. My bedroom would be very cold when I finally went upstairs after supper on winter nights.

    In#2b, the speaker is suggesting a regular 'event' (rather than pure state).

    3. I always sat at the back of the bus, even though it used to be the hottest place, and I hoped/would/hope/used to hope that no one could see me.

    Once again, the 'hoping' can be seen as an event, an action.

    I hope I have given an idea of why native speakers can use 'would' in situations where learners might feel that a 'rule' is being broken, but I would advise learners to avoid 'would'. 'Used to' is always the safer bet.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: would hope? Isn't hope a state verb?

    The reason is that 'would' has an element of the idea of 'volition', in my opinion. It is therefore not used to refer to states that simply exist, but can be used if the speaker/writer sees a situation as being in the slightest way under
    Once again, the 'hoping' can be seen as an event, an action.



    Thanks a lot 5jj. You did help me a lot. Could you please correct me with the following inferences:
    1. In the case of "state verbs', if it's an on an off event, we can use 'would' as well as 'used to'.
    2. In 'I used to be overweight' because it was an on going state we can't replace 'used to' with 'would'.

    Thanks a lot.
    Being a non-native teacher, I'm so thrilled being in such a superb forum.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: would hope? Isn't hope a state verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by moonlike View Post
    Could you please correct me with the following inferences:
    1. In the case of "state verbs', if it's an on an off event, we can use 'would' as well as 'used to'.
    I don't really like the term 'state/stative verb'. I prefer to think of verbs used statively. Compare:

    "I think that English is a fascinating language" - I suppose that we can call this a permanent state of mind.
    "Shut up! I'm thinking." - this is a consciously willed action.

    However, I don't think it's always easy to think of something as a state. If a lifelong Christian says, "I believe in God", then we can call this a permanent state of mind.. However, if you tell me that you like ice cream with mustard and I say, "I believe you", my belief is, in a way, a willed decision to accept your statement. Even so, while this belief may be of limited duration, "I am believing you" is unnatural. On the other hand, "When I was younger, I would believe everything that moonlike told me" is possible.

    Unfortunately, I cannot think of a simple explanation for these usage differences.
    2. In 'I used to be overweight' because it was an on going state we can't replace 'used to' with 'would'.
    I agree.

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