Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 20
    #1

    about "would"

    Many years later, after I graduated from Harvard with honors and became a lawyer and the CEO of my own
    company, my mother refl ected that, when I was a child, no one would have predicted a successful future— no one
    except a mother, that is. My parents were pivotal in helping me through a nightmare that engulfs so many children,
    especially young Black boys.

    Excerpted from Essence, November 1, 2004
    By Carlos Watson

    i'm not so clear about the use of "would" in the sentence "no one would have predicted a successful future— no one except a mother" is it the same as we see in " without her help i would have failed my exam."?


    millions of thanks
    Last edited by hooootdog; 28-Mar-2010 at 06:50.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,845
    #2

    Re: about "would"

    We use would when talking about predictions that were made in the past- They thought he would be successful. Here, the time period (his childhood) is mentioned and clearly finished, so it is not like 'without her help', which is basically the same as a third conditional - If she hadn't helped me, I would have failed - it is reporting a past prediction, though a prediction that was never made.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 20
    #3

    Re: about "would"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    We use would when talking about predictions that were made in the past- They thought he would be successful. Here, the time period (his childhood) is mentioned and clearly finished, so it is not like 'without her help', which is basically the same as a third conditional - If she hadn't helped me, I would have failed - it is reporting a past prediction, though a prediction that was never made.
    thanks for your help! but i still don't understand why it is "no one would have predicted...", can i say "no one would predict a successful future?

Similar Threads

  1. Use of the modal "would"
    By Deepurple in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16-Dec-2009, 11:02
  2. [Grammar] "would" In Conditional
    By akshay vyas in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-Aug-2008, 11:54
  3. proper use of "would" in past tense
    By Poetess in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-Jun-2008, 23:24
  4. The overuse of "would"
    By albertino in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 18-Jun-2007, 02:11
  5. epistemic "would"
    By ratna in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-Feb-2007, 01:05

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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