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Thread: I'd say that...

  1. Banned
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    #1

    I'd say that...

    As far as I know, "I'd say that" can have 2 different meanings.

    "If you asked me now what I'm thinking at the moment, I'd say that you're an idiot."
    Here it's about a possibility in the present.

    "When I was young, I'd (always) say that Nixon would become President one day and it turned out to be true."
    Here it's about a regular activity in the past.

    Now if I just said a sentence like "I'd say that Nico Rosberg is (or was?) a great racer" without any additions, would that be considered as a sentence about the past or the present?

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I'd say that...

    If you had used "was" it would clearly have been about the past. "Is" is ambiguous. It could be present or past, depending on context.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I'd say that...

    Whether "I'd say" means "I would say, if I were asked" or "I used to say"/"I was in the habit of saying" should be easily decidable on context.
    The sentence about Nico Rosberg doesn't mean that you used to say it.

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    #4

    Re: I'd say that...

    "That" is like a verbal colon in your first and last sentences.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: I'd say that...

    Where meaning is determined by context, no amount of grammatical analysis will clear things up. We often speak without exact precision, and our listeners ask for clarification if they feel they need it. If I used your sentence about Schumacher, the meaning would be clear. With Rosberg, in the absence of hearing about his retirement, I could not be 100% clear whether you were referring to his general ability or the season that has just ended.

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