EN: 'd - contraction of had / would / should

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tilt

Senior Member
French French
Hello everybody,

In a thread where I wrote you'd have to mean you should have, I've been answered:
je crois que you'd better have... est la contraction de you had better have ...et non celle de you should better have, should ne se contractant pas, contrairement à would.
En d'autres termes, you'd ne peut-être que you had ou you would.
I thought You'd could be any of the three, the context being the only way to know which one it means.
Does should really never contracts?
 
  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    You'd peut être you would ou you had, mais jamais you should.

    Les étrangers ont tendance à utiliser les contractions en excès, en anglais.
     

    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    C'est visiblement le cas ! :eek:
    J'avoue ne pas bien comprendre pourquoi should ne se contracte pas.
    Pour éviter la confusion avec would, justement ?
    Mais quelque chose d'autre que l'usage justifie-t-il alors que ce soit would et pas should que l'on contracte ?
     
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    itka

    Senior Member
    français
    Oupss !
    Est-ce que la situation est la même en Grande-Bretagne et aux Etats-Unis ? Je suis sûre d'avoir appris que "should" se contractait aussi bien que "would" ou "had"... mais peut-être était-ce une erreur de mon prof d'anglais ?:rolleyes:

    [...]

    Note des modérateurs : La question à propos de la contraction de will et shall a été déplacée vers son propre fil ici.
     
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    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    I thought You'd could be any of the three, the context being the only way to know which one it means.
    Does should really never contracts?
    Hello there,

    Yes you're right that it can be confused with would or had. ~shrug~ (C'est une langue à la fois complexe et subtile, n'est pas.
    )
    Should is the most common of the "auxiliaires modaux" and the most complex; it does contract to 'd.

    For example :
    I'd (I should) go with you if you asked me.
    J'irais avec vous si vous me demandiez.
     
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    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    J'avoue ne pas bien comprendre pourquoi should ne se contracte pas.
    Pour éviter la confusion avec would, justement ?
    Mais quelque chose d'autre que l'usage justifie-t-il alors que ce soit would et pas should que l'on contracte ?
    Je crois que c'est pour des raisons à la fois pragmatiques (pour éviter la confusion entre you should et you would, plus risquée que entre you had et aucun des deux) et phonétiques (les consonnes "douces" w- et h- se taisant plus facilement que la strident sh-). :)
     

    BillyTheBanana

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    For example :
    I'd (I should) go with you if you asked me.
    J'irais avec vous si vous me demandiez.
    This is very strange to me. In my opinion, the 'd in that sentence stands for would. It would not be normal in my experience to say "I should go with you" to mean "J'irais avec vous". I think it could very well be a regional thing (I'm American), because using should like that sounds sort of British to me. But I couldn't say for sure.
     

    floise

    Senior Member
    U.S.;English
    Hi Tilt and others,

    This is an interesting question; glad you asked it!

    According to my trusty Collins COBUILD English Grammar book:

    'd can be short for either 'had' or 'would'. You can tell what 'd represents by looking at the next word. If 'd represents 'would', it is followed by the base form of a verb. If it represents 'had', i is usually followed by a past participle.

    examples: We'd have to try to escape. (We would have to try to...)
    At least we'd had the courage to admit it. (we had had the courage...)


    No mention is made of 'd being short for 'should'.

    HOWEVER, in an earlier section of the book, it is stated that 'should' can replace 'would' in the same way that 'shall' can sometimes be used instead of 'will' in the first person singular.

    Here are the examples given:

    'The very first thing I should do would be to teach you how to cook.'
    'I should be very unhappy on the continent.'


    I, being American, would never use this 'should' (as BillyTheBanana said above). I believe it is British English.

    In these two examples, the 'I should', which in my mind would be 'I would', can be contracted and give the same meaning:

    'The very first thing I'd do....'
    'I'd be very unhappy...'

    So we have a difference in AE and BE usage here.

    Hope this helped a bit.

    By the way, I recommend this grammar book as a handy reference tool.

    floise
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hi floise,
    I agree it's an interesting question.
    The use of 'should' is, as you say, a very British thing. The grammar book I trust here is the Bescherelle which allows 'should' to be shortened to 'd. I would go further to say that 'should' is the rule, and that it is the other verbs which must follow suit.
    Bescherelle said:
    'Should' est plus courant et plus complexe. Il peut s'employer à toutes les personnes. Il se contracte en 'd, qu'il ne faut confondre avec la contraction de 'had'.
    Just my 2 cents of a €.
     
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    tilt

    Senior Member
    French French
    Ok, so if I understand all that well, should can contract to 'd only when it means... would.
    I feel somehow more confused than I was before asking my question! I won't let any English speaker complain about the difficulties of French language anymore! :rolleyes:

    Thanks to one and all, yet. You've been very helpful.
     

    floise

    Senior Member
    U.S.;English
    Hi again,

    Tilt said:

    Ok, so if I understand all that well, should can contract to 'd only when it means... would.

    Maybe this would help:

    American English: I'd or I would go right away if I had the money: Je partirais tout de suite si j'avais l'argent.
    British English: I'd or I should go right away if I had the money: (same as above)

    AE and BE: You'd (or) You would like her if you saw her: Tu l'aimerais si tu la voyais.

    AE: I should watch less tv. (no contraction): Je devrais regarder la télé moins souvent.
    BE: (same as above)

    AE: He should sell his house. (no contraction): Il devrait vendre sa maison.
    BE: (same as above)

    The Bescherelle rule about 'should' being used in all persons is true for when 'should' is being used to mean 'devoir', not for when it is being used to mean the conditional. In the conditional, 'should' is used only in the first person singular, I believe.

    Here is another source saying the same:

    The conjugations with would are formed in the same way as the Future conjugations, except that instead of will and shall, would and should are used. In the conjugations with would, should may be used for the first person in British English; however, would is normally used for the first person in American English.

    source: http://www.wordpower.ws/grammar/gramch08.html

    floise
     
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