Is this a normal sentence in english?

The authors would thank XY for his support ....

For me as a nonnative speaker it sounds like there needs to follow a negative part

.. if XY hadn't screwed up something else.

Personally I think this is correct, 25,000,000 to 100,000 google hits seem to confirm it:

We would like to thank XY for ...

Is the first sentence correct too? What kind of sentence/time is it?

  • Could you use whole sentences when stating your concerns? The use of partials confuses what you are asking. – user3169 May 24 '14 at 16:37
  • That was the whole sentence! So I'm not the only feeling there is sth missing. – zori May 24 '14 at 17:18
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    The original had an ellipsis too? – starsplusplus May 25 '14 at 0:01

It should read : The authors would like to thank...

In older varieties of written English, any form of "will" sufficed to indicate "wanting" or "desiring" to do something. That is practically lost in modern English, e.g. "I would accompany you to the train, if you don't mind the company." - meaning "I would like to accompany..."


"My mother would see me dead before seeing me married to such a woman."

  • So it might be a case of old english rather than sloppy writing. Thanks for the clarification! – zori May 24 '14 at 17:18
  • ...or just a typo – CocoPop May 24 '14 at 18:06
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    @zori I think it is a translation error rather than archaism. The first 20 Google hits (excluding false hits) on "the authors would thank" were all by non-native authors - about half Chinese, the other half European. I suspect that at least the Europeans are mistranslating expressions equivalent to "The authors wish/want to thank"; I know this is quite an easy mistake from German. – StoneyB on hiatus May 25 '14 at 3:42

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