shouldn’t like to have come

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Hello everyone,


----Why did you come to see the play you didn’t like?
---- I shouldn’t like to have come, but my friend insisted. I like dancing.


It's said the wording of the second sentence above is unusual. What is the usual way?


Many thanks.
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "I shouldn't like to have come" is not a natural way of saying "I didn't want to go". "My friend insisted" suggests that I did go dancing.

    "I wouldn't like to have gone" implies that I did not go dancing.
    "I shouldn't like to have gone" is a semi-obsolete form of "I wouldn't like to have gone". It also implies that I did not go dancing.
     
    Last edited:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    -Why did you come ? to see a play you didn’t ? like?
    ---- I shouldn’t like to have come, but my friend insisted. I like dancing.?

    It is difficult to comment on snatches of conversation, because without context we often can't tell exactly what a speaker wanted to say.


    I shouldn't have come doesn't have the same meaning as I didn't want to come.

    I shouldn't have come suggests that either that you were undecided about whether to go or not, but you did, or you were happy to go, but in either case you now realise it was a bad decision.

    You probably need either
    I didn't want to come/go but my friend insisted
    or
    I wouldn't have come/gone but my friend insisted.

    I like dancing
    is puzzling to me. Perhaps he means I would rather have gone dancing.

    I have a problem with using come. If the conversation takes place at the theatre then come is fine; otherwise, it would be go/went/gone If they are at the theatre, it would be more natural to say why have you come to see a play you don't like.

    If the conversation was not at the theatre it would be better to say why did you go to see a play you don't like. That's because he didn't like the play before he went and he still doesn't like the play.

    Hermione
     
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