[Grammar] Another way of saying 'on target' would be 'on goal'

Kontol

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Javanese
Home Country
Indonesia
Current Location
Indonesia
Thank you, emsr2d2. Then what is the difference if I use "is"?

.The full sentence is...
 

Kontol

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Javanese
Home Country
Indonesia
Current Location
Indonesia
How does "would" work in this sentence?

Q: Should I use "sports" or "sport" in my sentence if I am talking about different sports? is it clear with "kinds" that I am talking about different sports so using the plural form of "sports" is unnecessary?
"She has played different kinds of sport."

A: The natural way to say this would be, "She has played different sports."
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
I think you are attaching too much importance to the difference between the shades of meaning in the use of would.

In The natural way to say this is, "She has played different sports", the speaker/writer is presenting the statement as a fact.

In The natural way to say this would be, "She has played different sports", the speaker/writer is possibly tentatively distancing the statement from 100% certainty/factuality, or possibly presenting it hypothetically: If I were asked to say what a natural answer was, I would say ... . We cannot say for certain. I doubt if the speaker/writer could say for certain. It doesn't really matter.
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
It doesn't really matter.
I expect some people will be surprised by those words.

I wrote them because, in normal, everyday conversation or informal writing, 99% of native speakers do not think about the actual words they use. If we faithfully transcribed much of what we say, we would spot grammar mistakes, poor constructions and even gibberish in almost every sentence. However, we almost always interpret what speakers/writers mean to say in the way they meant it. Trying to analyse precise meaning at some time after the words were spoken/written can be a pointless exercise.

The grammar presented in most books on grammar is largely derived from the written word, and, until very recently, the written word of only people who had a little time to think about what they were writing.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
In The natural way to say this is, "She has played different sports", the speaker/writer is presenting the statement as a fact.

In The natural way to say this would be, "She has played different sports", the speaker/writer is possibly tentatively distancing the statement from 100% certainty/factuality, or possibly presenting it hypothetically: If I were asked to say what a natural answer was, I would say ... . We cannot say for certain. I doubt if the speaker/writer could say for certain. It doesn't really matter.

The only part I disagree with here is that would in such an utterance could be used for tentative distancing. If the speaker wanted to distance himself from the statement, he's far more likely to use a qualifier like I think, or use would with a prefacing 'opinion' verb (I'd say, for example). It seems pretty clear to me that the speaker here intends to speak authoritatively.
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
I agree with the answers given thus far. But to your question, Kontol, sport without the final s is exclusively British. In AmE we always use sports for both singular and plural, unless we are distinguishing one sport from another. On the rare occasions when we use "in sport" we mean "in jest".
 

Kontol

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Javanese
Home Country
Indonesia
Current Location
Indonesia
The only part I disagree with here is that would in such an utterance could be used for tentative distancing. If the speaker wanted to distance himself from the statement, he's far more likely to use a qualifier like I think, or use would with a prefacing 'opinion' verb (I'd say, for example). It seems pretty clear to me that the speaker here intends to speak authoritatively.
So the use of "would" in "the natural way to say this would be..." indicates a hypthetical, is it right, jutfrank? It's not tentative.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
So the use of "would" in "the natural way to say this would be..." indicates a hypthetical, is it right, jutfrank? It's not tentative.
Right. I don't think this is tentative, no.
 
Top