Would... ought to be

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Curiousness122

New Member
India - Hindi and English
It was when she felt that whenever she would have a relationship, it ought to be just like her parents’.

Is this sentence grammatically correct? If not, please correct it.

Thanks
 
Last edited:
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You can, but not in your sentence. Keep the 'ought to be' and omit the "would."

    (Unfortunately, "It was when she felt that whenever she would have a relationship," is the main problem - you need to rewrite this.)
     

    Curiousness122

    New Member
    India - Hindi and English
    You can, but not in your sentence. Keep the 'ought to be' and omit the "would."
    The person who's being talked about has never been in a relationship before. Hence, I've used : whenever she 'would' have a relationship.

    Can you post the grammatically correct version of this sentence?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Your sentence is confusing. How are you using "whenever"? To me it suggests that she intends to have a lot of different relationships. Is this what you mean?

    Perhaps you mean "if/when she has a relationship (in the future)..."

    Whenever she would have a relationship"" suggests to me that she used to have many relationships. ("Would" - as you have used it - seems to have its meaning of "habitual action in the past" - it doesn't seem to refer to what may happen in the future.)

    I suggest you review the uses of "would" in your grammar book.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    It was when she felt that whenever she would have a relationship, it ought to be just like her parents’.

    Is this sentence grammatically correct? If not, please correct it.

    Thanks
    It looks grammatical to me, but it is hard to understand without appropriate context. For example, what is "It"?
    The person who's being talked about has never been in a relationship before. Hence, I've used : whenever she 'would' have a relationship.
    That makes sense to me, but we still don't have enough context to make the meaning clear.
     

    Curiousness122

    New Member
    India - Hindi and English
    Your sentence is confusing. How are you using "whenever"? To me it suggests that she intends to have a lot of different relationships. Is this what you mean?

    Perhaps you mean "if/when she has a relationship (in the future)..."

    Whenever she would have a relationship"" suggests to me that she used to have many relationships. ("Would" - as you have used it - seems to have its meaning of "habitual action in the past" - it doesn't seem to refer to what may happen in the future.)

    I suggest you review the uses of "would" in your grammar book.
    would
    wʊd,wəd/
    verb
    modal verb: would; modal verb: wouldst
    1. past of will, in various senses.
      "he said he would be away for a couple of days"
    This sentence is in past tense.

    whenever
    wɛnˈɛvə/

    adverb

    1. used for emphasis instead of ‘when’ in questions, typically expressing surprise or confusion.
      "whenever shall we get there?"
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Thank you. So...do you mean that each time she started a new relationship she wanted it to be just like her parents', but it never was/had been?

    We don't use ""past habitual would" for something stative, like "having a relationship".
     

    Curiousness122

    New Member
    India - Hindi and English
    Thank you. So...do you mean that each time she started a new relationship she wanted it to be just like her parents', but it never was/had been?

    We don't use ""past habitual would" for something stative, like "having a relationship".
    whenever she would have a relationship= at whatever time in future she would have a relationship. She hasn't had a relationship as yet.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    would
    wʊd,wəd/
    verb
    modal verb: would; modal verb: wouldst
    1. past of will, in various senses.
      "he said he would be away for a couple of days"
    This sentence is in past tense.
    This makes sense. Would, wouldst is just past tense of will, wilt.:

    It is when she feels that whenever she will have a relationship, it ought to be just like her parents’.

    But there are still multiple possible meanings. For example, will could be about willingness, or about personality, or about repeated action, or about simple futurity.

    I still don't see enough context to sort this out, but I think you are talking about simple futurity (about what was in her future).

    This would make would approximately equivalent to "was going to".
    whenever
    wɛnˈɛvə/

    adverb

    1. used for emphasis instead of ‘when’ in questions, typically expressing surprise or confusion.
      "whenever shall we get there?"
    This meaning of whenever does not fit your sentence, which is not a question.
    whenever she would have a relationship= at whatever time in future she would have a relationship. She hasn't had a relationship as yet.
    This does make sense.

    What is "It"? It must be referring to something in a previous sentence, but you have given us is this one sentence.
     

    Curiousness122

    New Member
    India - Hindi and English
    This makes sense. Would, wouldst is just past tense of will, wilt.:

    It is when she feels that whenever she will have a relationship, it ought to be just like her parents’.



    But there are still multiple possible meanings. For example, will could be about willingness, or about personality, or about repeated action, or about simple futurity.

    I still don't see enough context to sort this out, but I think you are talking about simple futurity (about what was in her future).

    This would make would approximately equivalent to "was going to".This meaning of whenever does not fit your sentence, which is not a question.This does make sense.

    What is "It"? It must be referring to something in a previous sentence, but you have given us is this one sentence.

    She smiled. She smiled like this once or twice every week. It was when she felt that whenever she would have a relationship, it ought to be just like her parents’.


    This is the context. Is the last sentence grammatically correct now?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    She smiled. She smiled like this once or twice every week. It was when she felt that whenever she would have a relationship, it ought to be just like her parents’.


    This is the context. Is the last sentence grammatically correct now?
    Yes. Now we know "It" means "Her periodic smiling". "Ought to" seems a little odd, but now it seems to mean "should"/"could be expected to".
     

    Phil-Olly

    Senior Member
    Scotland, English
    I don't think we're quite there yet.

    "...whenever she had a relationship (every time that this happened in the past), it ought to be ..."

    or

    "...if ever she had a relationship (if it were to happen in the future), it ought to be ..."

    "would" doesn't seem to work in either context, because the main clause of the sentence ("It was when ...") is in the past

    Anyone disagree?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    I don't think we're quite there yet.

    "...whenever she had a relationship (every time that this happened in the past), it ought to be ..."

    or

    "...if ever she had a relationship (if it were to happen in the future), it ought to be ..."

    "would" doesn't seem to work in either context, because the main clause of the sentence ("It was when ...") is in the past

    Anyone disagree?
    The meaning is not "whenever in the past" or "if ever in our future", but "whenever in her future (future to when she smiled)".

    "Whenever she would have a relationship" = "at whatever point in her life she was to have a relationship".
     
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