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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    than you normally would

    What does this "would" mean? Is it a conditional mood as in "if you normally hold eye contact, you would hold another way"?

    im76
    ex)Maybe you've heard it before: When meeting someone new, the first few seconds are crucial. This is because people often make character judgements at first sight. Here are some tips to help you make a good first impression.
    First, hold eye contact a second or two longer than you normally would.

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: than you normally would

    Whenever I post questions related to "would", I feel kind of guilty as this seems to bother teachers, but why would "would" bother me so much? I remember some teacher said "would" is so messy that even some native speakers find it hard to define.
    In Korean, there's similar words that I find hard to define, so if foreigners ask me what it means in various cases, I would lose my temper. But that's because I'm used to it from experience, but for English "would", I am not due to lack of experience in real life.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: than you normally would

    It is hard to define. However, in the example you posted this time, it means "than usual". "Hold eye contact for a little longer than is normally habitual for you."

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    #4

    Re: than you normally would

    It's a curious usage- you could replace it with do without changing the meaning much, but using would makes it more hypothetical than factual.

  4. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: than you normally would

    Thanks a lot. Just one short note, my humble opinion. As I learned from conditionals, an adverb like "normally" seems to play a conditional meaning "if you were in normal situation, you would do something".

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    #6

    Re: than you normally would

    I'm not too sure what you're getting at here- could you give another example?

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: than you normally would

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Thanks a lot. Just one short note, my humble opinion. As I learned from conditionals, an adverb like "normally" seems to play a conditional meaning "if you were in normal situation, you would do something".
    I've been trying to work out what I would normally (!) say and came up with the following:

    If I am cooking dinner for six people, I normally start cooking at about four o'clock.
    If I were cooking dinner for six people, I would normally start cooking at about four o'clock.

    I'm really not sure that's what you're getting at though.

  6. keannu's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: than you normally would

    I just made a mixed conditional for "would" meaning "You would hold eye contact if you are in normal situation"(counterfactual or unlikely+predictive) as I thought if this "would" is a rare use, this composition is the only way to interpret it.

    Sorry to confuse you, but driving home, I thought maybe the reason I get confused sometimes is that even native speakers can make a mistake or inproper expressions. Even if every single word, sentence, or paragarph is edited by thorough grammar & punctuation rules, there could be inproper expressions or editing mistakes as to err is human.
    Even Koreans can make weird writings in Korean, so I guess I might have worried too much about the mistakes of writers that I needn't have.

    ex) "First, hold eye contact a second or two longer than you normally would."

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: than you normally would

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I just made a mixed conditional for "would" meaning "You would hold eye contact if you are in normal situation"(counterfactual or unlikely+predictive) as I thought if this "would" is a rare use, this composition is the only way to interpret it.

    Sorry to confuse you, but driving home, I thought maybe the reason I get confused sometimes is that even native speakers can make a mistake or inproper expressions. Even if every single word, sentence, or paragarph is edited by thorough grammar & punctuation rules, there could be inproper expressions or editing mistakes as to err is human.
    Even Koreans can make weird writings in Korean, so I guess I might have worried too much about the mistakes of writers that I needn't have.

    ex) "First, hold eye contact a second or two longer than you normally would."
    I readily admit that the whole "counterfactual" etc descriptions of words, conditionals, phrases etc generally pass me by. "You would hold eye contact if you were in a normal situation" sounds fine to me, changing it to "if you are ..." doesn't.

    Hold eye contact if you are in a normal situation.
    You would hold eye contact if you were in a normal situation.

    If I heard a native speaker mix the two, and come out with the sentence you quoted at the beginning of your post, I would not immediately think "That's an error". However, when you start to write these things down and analyse them, you can find all kinds of slip-ups.

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