that " 'd " in sentences on Harry potter and the philosopher's stone.

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kansi

Senior Member
japanese
Mrs Dursley came into the living-room carrying two cups of tea. It was no good. He’d have to say something to her. He cleared his throat nervously. ‘Er – Petunia, dear – you haven’t heard from your sister lately, have you?’

I found these on Harry potter and the philosopher's stone.

Which is that 'd in He'd have to say something to her. , would or had?

And what does the sentence mean?

Thank you!
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Which is that 'd in He'd have to say something to her. , would or had?
    Would.
    And what does the sentence mean?
    It means: He decided that he would have to say something to her.

    The construction describes the "future in the past". He was thinking of what he was going to have to do (which was in the future at that point), but since the writer has written this as if it occurred in the past, the tenses used are in the past - decided and would which is the past tense form of will.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    A simple guideline --

    If the next word is an infinitive -- He'd go = He would go.
    If the next word is a past participle -- He'd gone = He had gone.

    ... which is really just a back-to front way of saying that 'would' takes an infinitive to form a conditional, while 'had' takes a past participle to form the Past Perfect tense.
    .
     
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