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      • Native Language:
      • Polish
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    #1

    Question Looking for a name of a grammatical construction (should + but)

    Looking for examples of 'lo and behold' usage, I've come across the following sentence:

    I went into a bar just next to our hotel and, lo and behold, who should I see sitting there but Jim Gibson.

    I have been trying to accurately translate the aforementioned sentence (especially the second part) to Polish, which proved to be quite a challenge.
    Is there any name for such a construction (should ... but)? I would love to find more examples, yet I have no idea how to do that.

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    #2

    Re: Looking for a name of a grammatical construction (should + but)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thistle_sifter View Post

    I would love to find more examples, yet I have no idea how to do that.

    NOT A TEACHER


    1. Go to Google.

    2. Type in "Who should I see but" [ Be sure to use the quotation marks.]

    3. Many examples will come up on the first results page.

    4. If possible, go to the "books" section (where thousands of books have been digitalized) for better results, often from established writers.

    a. At the top of the results page, you will see the word "More." Click it on. You will see a drop-down menu with the word "books." Click it on. You will be taken to many, many books that contain the words "Who should I see but."

    (Sometimes, the word "books" will appear at the top of your first results page. I have found, however, that usually "books" is listed under "More.")


    Good luck!

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Looking for a name of a grammatical construction (should + but)

    Click here for the Ngram result for the usage of "who should I see but" between the years 1800 and 2000.

    Out of curiosity, does your username come from my favourite tongue-twister "Theo Thistler was a thistle sifter"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Looking for a name of a grammatical construction (should + but)

    Who should I see/meet/run into/come face to face with/etc but ... . The suggestion is of surprise at an unexpected situation. I don't think there is a name for this idiomatic use of 'should'.

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    #5

    Re: Looking for a name of a grammatical construction (should + but)

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Out of curiosity, does your username come from my favourite tongue-twister "Theo Thistler was a thistle sifter"?
    I should change my username to Szczebrzeszyn. If I ever get back to Poland, I'll hate myself if I don't work in a visit to that famous town!
    I am not a teacher.

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