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At last Mr. Smith came upon the rare stamp he had been seeking at an auction. Since many other stamp collectors would also be bidding for it, he realized that he would have to pay through the nose in order to have it. After considering the increasing value of the stamp, he decided that he would not mind paying such a high price for something so rare.

I am wondering if you could say what the grammar is used in these parts of the text:

  1. Would also be bidding for it (why not “were going to bid for it too”?)

  2. Would have to pay (why didn't the writer just write “should pay”?)

This is my gloss. Is my perception correct?

At last Mr. Smith came upon the rare stamp he had been seeking at an auction. Since many other stamp collectors were [going to bid for it too], he realized that he [should] to pay through the nose in order to have it. After considering the increasing value of the stamp, he decided that [it is not important for him] paying such a high price for something so rare. [So he paid a lot of money.]

  • I'm not sure what you mean by "interpretation" here (usually it would mean your concept of exactly what the words actually mean, but that doesn't seem likely here). But your understanding of why the specific words are used (and what possible changes you could make), is definitely wrong. To use "should pay" here would be hopelessly archaic/formal at best. And although "other collectors were going to bid" would be "credible", it would be unlikely - particularly given that Mr Smith doesn't actually know this (it's just an assumption he's making). – FumbleFingers Mar 28 '14 at 17:05
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    Please never use all capital letters. Learn the formatting available on this site, look at the preview of the post before you post it and make sure it looks good. There are helpful links within the editor if you need them, and tips along the side. – Tyler James Young Mar 28 '14 at 17:49
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The narrative stands at a point before the auction, and the woulds here act as the past tense of will in the futurive sense of that modal.

If the author quoted Mr. Smith's actual thoughts, we would ‘hear’ him saying to himself:

“Since many other stamp collectors will also be bidding for it, I will have to pay through the nose in order to have it. ... But I won’t mind paying a very high price if I have to,” thought Mr. Smith.

Instead, Mr. Smith’s thoughts are represented as indirect speech, so the wills are backshifted as woulds.

Incidentally, the verb mind in this context means be troubled by or regret, so Mr. Smith is thinking that he is quite willing to pay a high price.

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