1

The following sentence is from a test (answer 42) (pdf)

It's what we were all worried we'd do

and this is the problem 42 (pdf)

I don't understand the grammatical structure, could some explain it? Thanks

  • 1
    That answer doesn't really sit well with me. I think it depends on whether they were worried about a past action or a possible (future) action. – Lawrence Sep 23 '16 at 15:57
1

The passage is expressing a worry about something which might happen in the hypothetical future and so "do" is your only option.

Actually, there are two possible answers

I'd do
It's what we were all worried I'd do
all of us were worried about something I might do

we'd do
It's what we were all worried we'd do
all of us were worried about something each of us might do

"I'd do" is possible since the passage is written in first person and it is possible that everyone was worried about something the speaker, in particular, would do. One might also say

It's what we were all worried what each of us would do

Another possible answer might be

we would have done
It's what we were all worried we would have done

however this possibility is not an option.

  • But the answer says "It must be 'we'd do' to agree with 'we were all worried'." – tmpbin Sep 23 '16 at 22:09
  • It is possible for a group of people to worry about the actions of an individual. Also, the very next phrase is "and I did it" which would also fit "...worried what I'd do, and I did it!". – Peter Sep 23 '16 at 23:04
1

The question is:
It’s what we were all worried _____, but I actually did it.
A we’d done
B I’d do
C we’d do
D we did
E we’ll do

The answer key says:
C — This is the correct tense to use to complete the clause ‘it’s what we were all worried we’d do’.  It must be ‘we’d do’ to agree with ‘we were all worried’. 

This is a fairly poor explanation for why C is the most natural choice.  There is a reason to eliminate choice B, but that reason is not to agree with "we were all worried".  The word "but" indicates a contrast.  The best answer contrasts with "I actually did it". 

If everyone had been worried about what I alone would do, "and" would be a more natural conjunction: It's what we all worried I'd do, and I actually did it. 

Choices A, D and E are indicative.  In the context of the story, we were worried about a possibility, not a fact.  The answer key suggests that you need to choose the right tense.  Actually, you need to choose the right mode.  Both B and C are subjunctive.  Since we can eliminate B for its lack of contrast, we're left with C as our answer. 

C — This is the correct mode to use to complete the clause "it’s what we were all worried we’d do".  It should be "we’d do" to contrast with "but I actually did it."

-1

Non past:

It is what we are all worried we will do, but....

For the past tense, change the verbs to past tense.

It is what we were all worried we would do, but...

Easy!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.