I’m an English learner and I saw yesterday tv soap opera ‘Smallville’ season 7 episode 5. From there, I heard an sentence but I don’t get the nuance of that.

“After all these years of reading these articles, you would think I would have figured it out.”

Would you please tell me the meaning of ‘After all these years of ~‘ and ‘you would think’?


Lana: I know. You were already asleep when I got home from Nell's. And you looked so cute, I couldn't bear to wake you. [ Chuckles ] But even heroes need their beauty sleep. After years of these articles, you'd think I would have figured it out.

Clark: I guess people only see what they think is possible.

Lana: Well, I, for one, am glad I've seen the light.

Clark: And I think the spotlight is better suited in Hollywood. I add these lines to get you more easily understood..I saw these dialogue maybe a hundred times but I couldn’t get the exact meaning.. It’s so sad

  • Technically "Smallville" isn't a "soap opera". That term relates more to daytime serial dramas chiefly characterized by tangled interpersonal situations and melodramatic or sentimental treatment. Which kind of sounds like "Smallville" (and many other shows) , but soap operas usually don't have superheroes or characters with magic powers, and not a lot of action. I'm not sure exactly what the TV people call the show, but Wikipedia classifies it under the "superhero fiction", "drama", and "action" genres.
    – Andrew
    Dec 28, 2017 at 0:29

2 Answers 2


This sentence is conveying a sense of frustration, or perhaps making a joke at the speaker's own expense.

After all these years...

This phrase is often used to say that the time spent on the action, "figuring it out" in this case, has been very long.

...you would think...

Simply means that most people would expect you to have done or finished the action.

All together, the speaker is expressing discontent that it has taken him so long to "figure it out".

I just read your comment. In that context, it's a joke. Again it concerns the fact that it took him so long to figure out that even heroes need sleep, but in this case he's joking about how it should have been obvious.



After six hours of fishing, you would think I would have caught a fish.

After {time} of {VERB-ing}

After that much time doing {VERB}

you would think {something}

One might expect {something}

After (me) fishing for six hours, one would expect that I would have caught a fish (by now).

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