you would know

< Previous | Next >

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Joy and Sadness are wandering through the mazes of aisles of memories inside Riley's mind, looking a way back to Headquarters (of Riley's mind), when come across some creature. Joy recognizes Riley's imaginary friend in him:
-- (...) Riley loved playing with you! You two are best friends! [suddenly recalling something] Oh! Oh, you would know. We're trying to get back to Headquarters.
Inside Out, animation

Explain please "you would know". Thank you.

edit: one of the transcripts says "wouldn't", but I hear "would"
 
Last edited:
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    For me, it means that, since the two of them are best friends, of course the friend would know that they are best friends.
    Ah, it refers to the previous phrase, I thought it introduced the next sentence. Could you tell me what then "would" means here?... Why not just "You know that."?
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't understand it as a conditional. I understand it to mean it is typical of you that you will know, we can expect you to know. The origin of this usage is irrelevant really, but I suspect that this use of would is an idiomatic extension of the tentative probability sense of would rather than a conditional sense - in other words, it is not very different from Oh, you will know.
     
    Last edited:

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I agree it is an implied conditional: 'You would know, if anyone knew'.
    In other words: no one could be better placed than you to know the answer.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    ... "would" is used here to sound more polite, right?:)
    If that were the case, it would exclude interpreting the sentence as a conditional.

    Of course, to say or imply that someone is knowledgeable is a compliment in itself, so politeness is already a given.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    This is one of a number of sentences which we could use in this situation
    You must know
    You might know
    You would know
    You will know

    In my opinion the politeness of each option is the same - they are all very neutral, and are basically the speaker thinking aloud.

    Where would is used it's an implied conditional.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    On my interpretation, you would know is not necessarily polite either.

    - We need to find the best crack den in town.
    - Fred would know.
    (= judging by my understanding of Fred's nature he probably knows)
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If somebody wanted to know how to say 'You would know' in Russian, I might suggest to them 'Ask Vic, he would know'. In other words, if you were to ask Vic, he would know the answer.

    Just another, hopefully helpful, way to look at it.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The grammatical classification of would here is by the by.
    What is important is not whether it is an implicit conditional (which is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat) but the interpretation (which, as given by se15teddy (judging by my understanding of Fred's nature he probably knows), seems reasonable).

    I fail to see how politeness comes into it. On what evidence?
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top