Would in Subordinate Clause

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HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
Hi. I hope your health is good, and your heart is full.

I was just wondering if, if you use "would" in the main clause, you should use "would" in the subordinate "that clause" as in example sentence [1].

What is the difference between [1] and [2]? Is [2] allowed?
[1] You'd think they'd enjoy the class.
[2] You'd think they enjoy the class.

Thanks.
 
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  • MichaelW

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    The subjunctive "would" "were" etc is used in conditional clauses...

    If X is the case, then Y would or should follow.

    Were X the case, then Y would or could follow.

    So [1] If {some unstated condition were true, and it need not be} then...
    [2] if {some unstated observation were true, and it need not be} then...

    It would make a nonsense of the first sentence you wrote, "I hope your health is good, and your heart is full" to make it conditional.

    "I hope, were your health good, that your heart would be full... but if your health is not good, perhaps you are in the blackest despair."
     
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    Esca

    Senior Member
    ATX
    USA - English
    Hi HSS,
    You can use these two formations:

    -You'd think they'd enjoy the class.
    Example: "If I told you that I held a class session on wine appreciation today, wouldn't you think my students would enjoy the class? Well, they didn't! They complained the whole time!"
    Note that this is hypothetical. IF it happened, you WOULD think they WOULD enjoy it.

    -You'd think they enjoyed the class. (Almost like your option 2.)
    Example: "If you walked into my psychology class, all of my students would be laughing and talking so much that you would think they enjoyed the class! Unfortunately, they only laugh at me!"

    I don't think your option 2 is correct as you wrote it.
     
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    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Hi HSS,
    -You'd think they enjoyed the class. (Almost like your option 2.)
    Example: "If you walked into my psychology class, all of my students would be laughing and talking so much that you would think they enjoyed the class! Unfortunately, they only laugh at me!"
    Hi, Esca.

    Thanks for your help. Very understandable explanation.

    Shouldn't it be 'they would have enjoyed the class!' in this case since they actually didn't enjoyed the class, I wonder?

    Hiro
     

    Esca

    Senior Member
    ATX
    USA - English
    Yes, "You'd think they would have enjoyed the class" is also possible. It has a meaning similar to the first sentence I gave you, except in past tense.
    "I held a session on wine appreciation yesterday. You'd think they would have enjoyed the class, but they didn't!"
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think HSS's original question is very difficult to answer because this would clause lacks its accompanying if clause; and we only use such unaccompanied would clauses when it is clear from the context roughly what the implied accompanying if clause is. I am not at all clear what implied if clause HSS is thinking of.

    The planned structure of this class seems very sensible. If you didn't know what students are like, you'd think they would enjoy this class.
    The students are all talking about Mr X's class now. If you hadn't seen that they were all asleep after 20 minutes, you would have thought they had enjoyed the class.
     
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