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strange that we <should> be

Discussion in 'English Only' started by giura, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. giura New Member

    Italian-Italy
    Hi, I'm a new member and I've a question for you.
    I was studying the use of should when i've seen this sentence: It's strange that We should be staying here.
    The verb should suggest surprise, it's true?
    I can say "It's strange ( or odd, funny) that you should play the guitar?" or i can't?
    I can say "It's strange that it should be raining?" (It isn't a casual event that it rain)
     
  2. Vronsky Senior Member

    Russian - Russia
    I think you can (without '?').

    Someone should play the guitar, but you for certain reasons think that it's strange:
    "It's strange that you should play the guitar."​

    Someone says that it should be raining, but you don't see any clouds:
    "It's strange that it should be raining."​

    In these cases what suggests surprise is the phrase "it's strange".
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  3. giura New Member

    Italian-Italy
    Hi Vronsky!
    Yes, I've made an error: there isn't "?".
    If I've understood well, this is a way to form subjunctive:
    "It's strange that you should play the guitar." = "It's strange that you play the guitar."
    "It's strange that it should be raining." = "It's strange that it rain."
    Well, why "should" if
     
  4. Vronsky Senior Member

    Russian - Russia
    The Subjunctive is used after the following expressions:
    It is best (that)
    It is crucial (that)
    It is desirable (that)
    It is essential (that)
    It is imperative (that)
    It is important (that)
    It is recommended (that)
    It is urgent (that)
    It is vital (that)
    It is a good idea (that)
    It is a bad idea (that)
    ENGLISH PAGE - Subjunctive

    I don't the phrase "It is strange" in the list.
    Maybe you might say, "It's a strange idea that you play the guitar." or "It's a strange idea that it be raining."
    We need a professional consultation from native speakers. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  5. giura New Member

    Italian-Italy
    You've right, it's not subjunctive!

    You've written:
    but I want say:
    Someone play the guitar, I play the guitar --> It's funny that we should play the guitar.
    I go to the museum, My friend Tim go to the same museum -->I met Tim and i say: It's strange that We should be staying in the same museum.
     
  6. Vronsky Senior Member

    Russian - Russia
    "It's funny that we should play the guitar together."
    "It's strange that we should be here at the same moment."

    I think it's possible. "Should" here is not an obligation.
     
  7. giura New Member

    Italian-Italy
    Yes, I agree with you.

    Thank you Vronsky for your help ( and for ENGLISH PAGE - Subjunctive )
     
  8. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    This use of “should” in a noun-clause, which is usually introduced by that, is a standard use to express surprise, [dis]approval, an urgent need, justice, will, wishes, etc.

    In the distant past, there was no “should” in such sentences and the sentence would have been:

    “It is strange that he play the guitar” and you will see that “play” is in the subjunctive.

    As English evolved, this sentence changed to “It is strange that he shall play the guitar” where "shall" was used merely to indicate the subjunctive.

    Finally, in Modern English, it became “It is strange that he should play the guitar.”
     
  9. giura New Member

    Italian-Italy
    It's very interesting, PaulQ! :)

    I didn't know it!

    I can't thank you enough!
     

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