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tentative Options
Penpen
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 2:34:15 AM

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First, what does "tentative" mean in the use of "would"?

Is this use of "would" in the following sentences?

- In British English, the comma would go after the closing quotation mark.
- In American English, the phrase "go to hospital" would not be correct. One of the articles "a" or "the" would be necessary.
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 4:00:00 AM

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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Penpen wrote:
First, what does "tentative" mean in the use of "would"?

Is this use of "would" in the following sentences?

- In British English, the comma would go after the closing quotation mark.
- In American English, the phrase "go to hospital" would not be correct. One of the articles "a" or "the" would be necessary.


The wood is harder than the would. Think

Yes, these are uses of would. Furthermore, these are proper examples of how the word "would" ought to be used.

If you want to know the meaning of the word "tentative", then TheFreeDictionary is not the worst place to search. Whistle

Where the comma is placed has nothing to do with British nor Canadian nor North American nor Irish nor Indian nor Australian English, but rather with a particular style guide. The Times of London is a good guide. The New York Times is also good, yet the Chicago Manual of style is also well recognized as an authority for well-written English.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Penpen
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 4:25:44 AM

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I meant: how does "would" work in the sentences above? I don't understand its use. Could you explain?
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:01:22 AM

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Penpen wrote:
I meant: how does "would" work in the sentences above? I don't understand its use. Could you explain?


The grammatical explanation would be as "conditional mode". That may or may not make sense with regard to your particular understanding of your own native language. In fact, much of what is prescribed for "proper" English is more or less rehashed Latin. There are reasons for that, mostly hoary and needlessly arcane, yet they persist.

In these examples, the use of the conditional mood expresses that a certain expression is desirable, that is to say it is more desirable to say or write in American English, the phrase "go to the hospital" rather than "go to hospital" as it is written and spoken in much of the rest of the world.

This is merely an observation of style. Quite frankly, if I were a student of English as a second language, I would quite naturally listen to the mother tongue, and tell those cretinous yanks to sod-off.

Whistle



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Penpen
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 6:07:43 AM

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Joined: 2/15/2016
Posts: 211
Neurons: 804
Thanks, leonAzul. But I'm still confused. You said "would" is expressed as conditional mode. But, I don't see any condtitional mood in the sentences above. The speaker directly uses "would". That's what is making me puzzled. My textbook says that:
1. "Would" is used to show hypothetical, about something which is possible but not real.
2. Used to give a opinion when we're not sure.
3. As a softener or downtoner: in statements when we're not sure.

So, what does "would" express in the sentences above?
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 6:49:43 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,122
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Penpen wrote:
Thanks, leonAzul. But I'm still confused. You said "would" is expressed as conditional mode. But, I don't see any condtitional mood in the sentences above. The speaker directly uses "would". That's what is making me puzzled. My textbook says that:
1. "Would" is used to show hypothetical, about something which is possible but not real.
2. Used to give a opinion when we're not sure.
3. As a softener or downtoner: in statements when we're not sure.

So, what does "would" express in the sentences above?


In these examples the use of the conditional mood expresses a hypothetical meaning, that is to say, something that has a stated or unstated condition in order to be true. The difference between the conditional and the subjunctive is that the subjunctive explicitly states the condition which is required for the conditional statement to be true. In English this has unfortunately lost the clarity which can be immediately appreciated in other languages, yet the distinction between conditional and subjunctive moods in English does in fact exist, even though the grammar might seem to be simplified.

Think


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Penpen
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 8:03:59 AM

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Joined: 2/15/2016
Posts: 211
Neurons: 804
leoAzul wrote:
In these examples the use of the conditional mood expresses a hypothetical meaning, that is to say, something that has a stated or unstated condition in order to be true
.
Sorry, I don't understand what you meant by "something that has a stated or unstated conditional in order to be TRUE. Could you give me an example?
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