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    • Join Date: Jan 2010
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    #1

    I wouldn't know

    Hi .I had a question .I need to know what's the difference between "I wouldn't know " and "I don't know".Is "I wouldn't know" kind of conditional sentence?If yes, what is the if clause for it.I have the same question for the difference between
    1) " I would say " and "I say" /
    2) "I would think" and "I think"/
    3)"Who would have thought " and "who thought"

    By the way I sent a question yesterday I saw the reply a short while after in the recent questions but I cannot find it anymore.It was about the evil eye. Could you help me .Thanks for your clues and helping in advance

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    #2

    Re: I wouldn't know

    The "would" is one of those filler words that stretch the sentence for dramatic effect, or to appear more polite.

    Where are my glasses?
    - I don't know. [simple statement of fact]
    - I wouldn't know. [I'm tired of you losing your damned glasses. Look on your nose!]

    What do you say about that situation?
    - I say that it's despicable. [outright expression, no holds barred. That's how I feel]
    - I would tend to say that it is less than perfect. [hedging, polite, tentative]

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I wouldn't know

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    The "would" is one of those filler words that stretch the sentence for dramatic effect, or to appear more polite.

    Where are my glasses?
    - I don't know. [simple statement of fact]
    - I wouldn't know. [I'm tired of you losing your damned glasses. Look on your nose!]
    This is a good example of where "would" makes something less polite. (You know this; I'm just clarifying for learners who might be mystified by the apparent contradiction between your statement and the example.)

    This use of 'would' means something like "If I cared ..." or "If I went to the bother of thinking about it ..."

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