Interested in Language
Can someone tell me the meaning of the expression " I would have thought"?
E.g. The wrong house?
Yes ... by mistake.
Well!! I'd have thought it was difficult to mistake this house.
I would have thought it was difficult to mistake this house if you didn't make the mistake.
I had thought it would be difficult to mistake this house for another house. However, you did mistake it for another house. Perhaps I was wrong in thinking it is difficult to mistake this house for another house.
Bob: Maine is the closest US state to Africa.
Jim: Really? I would have thought Florida was.
I think the "would have" shows that the person didn't necessarily have that thought in their mind at any stage, just that if the topic came up, that is what they would have thought. It is likely Jim never considered which state of the US was closest to Africa, but if he had considered it, he would have thought it was Florida.
Last edited by Munch; 21-Oct-2010 at 13:06.