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    #1

    The overuse of "would"

    People seem to overuse the word "would" rather than "will" in sentences to express euphemism. Is there any advice to be given on the use of "would" ,apart from its general use in the subjunctive mood and the past tense of "will"? Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    1. 'would' meaning 'used to': When I was younger, I would join my friends in the woods and have fun...'

    2. in polite expressions (courtesy):

    'would you be so kind as to help me with...'

    I would appreciate it if you would accomodate my request.' (however, this last sentence breathes a little bit of scorn...)

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    #3

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    1. 'would' meaning 'used to': When I was younger, I would join my friends in the woods and have fun...'

    2. in polite expressions (courtesy):

    'would you be so kind as to help me with...'

    I would appreciate it if you would accomodate my request.' (however, this last sentence breathes a little bit of scorn...)
    Thanks. But what i meant in the use of "would" is beyond that.
    Sometimes, people use "would" to express "tentativeness" rather than "politeness"

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    #4

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    Can you show an example of how someone used "would" in what you consider an incorrect way, and how you would rewrite it if it were yours?

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    #5

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    Thanks. But what i meant in the use of "would" is beyond that.
    Sometimes, people use "would" to express "tentativeness" rather than "politeness"
    In conditional Type II would is used for suggestions, speculation and tentativeness. There are other modal verbs like could, might which can be used.

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    #6

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Can you show an example of how someone used "would" in what you consider an incorrect way, and how you would rewrite it if it were yours?
    Oh sure. Here they are:

    "It has been estimated that the weight of all the insects destroyed by spiders in Britain in one year would be greater than the total weight of all the human beings in the country."

    "A list of all the ways in which diesel power is used would take pages, and engineers keep finding new uses for these engines."

    "It would be running a risk to let the child go to school by himself.

    "...political involvement would interfere too much with their professional work."

    "It would be unwise for you to marry him."

    Do all these examples have anything to do with the "subjunctive mood"? Thank you.

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    #7

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    With the exception of the first one, they are all conditional. The first one is conditional if you assume they meant "if they were all weighed" (which of course, no one can do).

    They are not listed on pages, but IF they were, it WOULD take pages.

    You don't let the child go, but IF you did, it WOULD be a risk.

    Etc.

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    #8

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    With the exception of the first one, they are all conditional. The first one is conditional if you assume they meant "if they were all weighed" (which of course, no one can do).

    They are not listed on pages, but IF they were, it WOULD take pages.

    You don't let the child go, but IF you did, it WOULD be a risk.

    Etc.
    Can it be a Type II conditional for "speculation" as suggested by Dr. Jamshif Ibrahim above in the first example?

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by albertino; 17-Jun-2007 at 13:23.

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    #9

    Re: The overuse of "would"

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    People seem to overuse the word "would" rather than "will" in sentences to express euphemism. Is there any advice to be given on the use of "would" ,apart from its general use in the subjunctive mood and the past tense of "will"? Thanks.
    My two cents:

    You need to be clear as to what exactly you wish to know. You asked for the use of 'would' apart from its general use in the subjunctive mood. But it seems that this is exactly what you needed to know, since the subjunctive mood follows the tense-pattern of the conditionals 2 and 3 -which you are interested in.
    I'll give you some ex.:

    If that were true, I'd know it. (past subjunctive)

    If I had known, I would have done smth about it. (the pluperfect subjunctive)

    If I were to die tomorrow, i would inherit everything. (future subjunctive)
    Last edited by bianca; 17-Jun-2007 at 18:09.

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    #10

    Red face Re: The overuse of "would"

    I think it is the omission of "if-clause" in the sentences that make me confused. Thank you very much for your help, mates.

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