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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    I'd like to know what comes to native speakers' mind when they say the following.

    Opinion or hope
    -I would imagine that they'll buy a new one.

    - Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best

    Polite requests and questions
    - Would you open the door, please?

    Is it all conditional mood? I can understand opinion or hope as they may have the feeling "what if you did this?", but I can't understand for opinion, is it a humble feeling? then it is contradictory of insisting. or is it a less strong insisting? I would (less strongly) imagine? What is the difference with "I want to imagine?"

    Your kind answer will be highly appreciated.

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    #2

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I'd like to know what comes to native speakers' minds when they hear the following.

    Opinion or hope
    -I would imagine that they'll buy a new one. opinion... "would" can be omitted.
    - Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best opinion

    Polite requests and questions
    - Would you open the door, please? It's a request, so you shouldn't use a question mark.

    Is it all conditional mood? None of the above sentence are conditional.

    I can understand opinion or hope as they may have the feeling "what if you did this?", not necessarily Opinion and hope are different. but I can't understand for opinion, is it a humble feeling? not necessarily then it is contradictory of insisting. or is it a less strong insisting? An opinion can be expressed very mildly or very strongly or something in between. I would (less strongly) imagine? What is the difference with "I want to imagine?" I can't comment on the last two without context.
    2006

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    - Would you open the door, please? It's a request, so you shouldn't use a question mark.

    It is indeed a request, but it is framed in the form of a question. I was taught at school many years ago that a question mark was required. I know many who still insist on the question mark. I would not insist on it; however, I would not say that it should not be used.

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    #4

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    - Would you open the door, please? It's a request, so you shouldn't use a question mark.





    It is indeed a request, but it is framed in the form of a question. I was taught at school many years ago that a question mark was required. I know many who still insist on the question mark. I would not insist on it; however, I would not say that it should not be used.

    1) I don't think it's framed in the form of a question. (unless you let the question mark influence you, which you shouldn't do if you are trying to decide if it should be there in the first place)
    2) To me, the presence of "please" argues against it being a question. Logically, it doesn't seem to be a question.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    1) I don't think it's framed in the form of a question.
    With a few exceptions (such as following negative expressions), subject-verb inversion is generally accepted as a sign of a question form.
    2) To me, the presence of "please" argues against it being a question.
    I said that I considered it a request. To be more explicit, I do not consider it to be a question.
    Logically, it doesn't seem to be a question.
    I agree.
    My point was simply that many people insist on a question mark in the written form. A quick check through some of my books showed that Swan (Practical English Usage) uses a question mark, but does not comment on it, as do Celce-Mucia and Larsen-Freeman (The Grammar Book) and Carter and McCarthy (Cambridge Grammar of English)

    Sinclair et al (Collins Cobuild English Usage) note: "People occasionally do not put a question mark at the end of a sentence in question form (!, 5jj) if, for example, it is really a request." The use of occasionally suggests to me that they more often do use a question mark. Similarly, Huddleston and Palmer (The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language) write: " The question mark is often replaced ..." in requests.

    R W Burchfield (Fowler's Modern English Usage) and Quirk et al (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language) say that the question mark is not needed in such cases

    So, I stand by what I wrote originally: " I know many who still insist on the question mark. I would not insist on it; however, I would not say that it should not be used."

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    My point was simply that many people insist on a question mark in the written form. A quick check through some of my books showed that Swan (Practical English Usage) uses a question mark, but does not comment on it, as do Celce-Mucia and Larsen-Freeman (The Grammar Book) and Carter and McCarthy (Cambridge Grammar of English)

    Sinclair et al (Collins Cobuild English Usage) note: "People occasionally do not put a question mark at the end of a sentence in question form (!, 5jj) if, for example, it is really a request." The use of occasionally suggests to me that they more often do use a question mark. Similarly, Huddleston and Palmer (The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language) write: " The question mark is often replaced ..." in requests.

    R W Burchfield (Fowler's Modern English Usage) and Quirk et al (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language) say that the question mark is not needed in such cases

    So, I stand by what I wrote originally: " I know many who still insist on the question mark. I would not insist on it; however, I would not say that it should not be used."
    My goodness! So much disagreement among grammarians on such a simple matter. And there are otherwise intelligent members of this forum who would expect any grammarian to be able to resolve this matter one way or another.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    And there are otherwise intelligent members of this forum who would expect any grammarian to be able to resolve this matter one way or another.

  6. keannu's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    I asked for the common thing in other uses of "would" assuming it could be conditional mood, but the discussion is going in another direction,

    I'm really desperate to know if so many usages of "would" come from conditional mood.

  7. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I'd like to know what comes to native speakers' mind when they say the following.

    Opinion or hope
    -I would imagine that they'll buy a new one.

    - Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best

    Polite requests and questions
    - Would you open the door, please?

    Is it all conditional mood? I can understand opinion or hope as they may have the feeling "what if you did this?", but I can't understand for opinion, is it a humble feeling? then it is contradictory of insisting. or is it a less strong insisting? I would (less strongly) imagine? What is the difference with "I want to imagine?"

    Your kind answer will be highly appreciated.
    I would say that my brother really enjoyed the match
    I would believe my friend is a good person

    These sentences illustrate opinion expression, which you've asked about in your sentence #1.

    Would you close the door, please?
    Would нщu shut the window?

    Here "would" makes the sentences sound more polite. "Would" can be replaced with "Could", "Will", and even "Can". However "would" is most frequently used because it's probably the most polite in such contexts.

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: What is the common thing in "would" in many cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I asked for the common thing in other uses of "would" assuming it could be conditional mood, but the discussion is going in another direction. Sorry about that.
    I'm really desperate to know if so many usages of "would" come from conditional mood.
    One of the difficulties with your request is that it is not usual to speak of a 'conditional mood' in English grammar. I know you can find references to it (for example: Conditional mood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) but most grammarians do not use this term.

    Many languages have a subjunctive mood to express wishes or conditions that are hypothetical or counterfactual. This mood exists in English, but is recognisable only in the third person singular form of verbs in the present tense, and only in the verb BE in the past tense. It is not particularly relevant to would.

    We mainly use conditional as a label for sentences that discuss hypothetical or counterfactual situations and their consequences.

    Would is probably the most commonly used of the nine modals in second and third conditional sentences, but other modals are also used:

    If he missed the last tram, he would/might/could/should catch the night bus.
    If he had worn a tie, he would/might/could have got the job.

    Would
    is also used in situations where there is no suggestion of any condition:

    When I was a child I would play for hours with my train set.
    Harold Wilson was photographed as a child in front of the door to 10 Downing Street, He would be photographed there forty years later as Prime Minister.
    Mary said that she would fly to Paris the following day.

    Does that move a little way in the direction of telling you what you want to know?

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