11

Using the present tense for future events indicates certainty, consistency, and familiarity. In other words, use this to talk about events which will happen, which happen on a regular basis (or are predictable in some way), and about which you have some personal knowledge. The holidays start next week. I know this happens every year, last year I saw it ...


10

You may interpret this as an implicit conditional, in which it (whatever it is) is understood from the context to be an optional or contingent or hypothetical eventuality: (If they did it, doing) it would mean more time at home. This is a very common use. Frequently the 'condition' is expressed as a non-finite clause: Doing that would be dangerous. To ...


8

When we are sure about the event/things in the future, the present tense is okay. The holidays start next week - it's fixed that the holidays are coming next week. It's similar to the Valentine's Day is on February 14 and not will be on*. Some more examples - The train leaves in 5 minutes - the train is scheduled to depart at that time. The ...


7

To begin with, forget that rubbish about "1st, 2nd, 3rd, 0, mixed conditionals". These terms do not name anything which actually exists in English; they're merely a pedagogic device for introducing learners to a small number of conditional constructions. They're what I call "baby rules": rules you give beginners to tide them over until they know enough to ...


6

This makes you wish the author would have written several advanced sequels to this amazing book. You are right that "I wish he had written ..." is preferred. However, in informal speech, "I wish he'd have written ..." and its variants, "I wish he had have written ..." and "I wish he would have written ...", though frequently considered incorrect, happen ...


6

We were taught of these differences in modal verbs: Must {infinitive} means an obligation due to higher order, like duty (of position or honour). Should {infinitive} means that something is most prudent or sensible way of behaving. Ought to {infinitive} means that was supposed to {infinitive} but didn't for some reason. Have to {infinitive} ...


6

There is no real difference between the two phrases. "X needs Y" or "X has need of Y" mean the same thing. "X has need of Y" is a pretty formal construction. You'll come across it in older writings and novels. You'll also find it in legal documents. From my experience, it's not used very often in everyday speaking except when someone is trying to be overly ...


6

We can consider the usage naively, in terms of the speaker's intent, and as perceived by the hearer. Naively, the first is deduction (due to think) or speculation (due to the lack of explicit facts), while the second expresses certainty (due to must). In terms of intent, the first expresses uncertainty and the second expresses a form of certainty. The ...


5

The way I use probably in AmE it means "more likely than not" or I'm 50% or more certain it's true. I would use other words if I was trying to give someone a good idea of how certain I was, for example "it's possible (not very certain)", "fairly sure (somewhat certain, but a little concerned I could be wrong)", "very certain", or "almost positive (I think it'...


5

Then is time you take the oath is not idiomatic English, but the English of a non-native speaker: the character who speaks this line in Rise of the Guardians is represented with a Russian (or Russian-ish) accent. Consequently, the question of how the verb should be parsed is irrelevant. In context, after asking "Are you ready now, Jack? To make it official?"...


5

Wouldn't in this case has a similar meaning to shouldn't. When we say that a person wouldn't do something, the meaning is that the person has a reason for not doing it. Broadly there are two examples: He hates apples. If you gave him an apple, he wouldn't eat it. This one, we are talking about a specific person who doesn't like apples. The other usage,...


5

"I think" is used to mean you believe something may be true, but you are not certain. Paris is the capital of France Is a statement that you are certain of. I think Budapest is the capital of Hungary Means that you believe Budapest to be the capital of Hungary but you are not certain. "I don't think..." is just the negative of it. I don't think ...


5

Would have to is here just the past tense of Will have to You’re right: this is the sense of would which the OED mentions is used for a past-tense version of will. It’s used in reported speech as a “future in the past” as it is sometimes called. The (paywalled) OED3 entry that applies here is specifically this one: In indirect reported speech or thought, or ...


5

Here you have one of the synthetic forms of the Subjunctive Mood - the Present Subjunctive of the verb "to be". It can be traced to the Old English period when the Subjunctive Mood was chiefly expressed by synthetic forms. In Old English the Subjunctive Mood had a special set of inflections, different from those of the Indicative. In course of ...


4

"Have to" expresses obligation, while "be to" is usually about arrangements, giving orders or instructions. It is used in formal contexts. You can find more information on it here and here. If it expresses prohibition (an order not to do something), then "be to" would be close to "be allowed to, can't", and of course &...


4

I liked to laugh, but I didn't dare. Something has happened in the past. At the time of this event, you liked to laugh, but you didn't dare laugh in response to whatever is happening. You are implying that you probably don't "like to laugh" now. I would like to laugh, but I didn’t dare. This doesn't make sense, you are mixing a present tense (like) ...


4

1) What would Donald Shimoda tell me, if he were sitting here under the wing tonight, if he knew I had not found her yet? Although that example sentence is an excerpt from prose that is past-tense narrative fiction, the example sentence is the narrator's direct thoughts -- and so, the grammar related to this sentence is the same as would be if we had put ...


4

In the phrase as if he were, were is not a ‘past simple’, although it looks like it, and in as if had been, had been is not a perfect, although it looks like one. These are both irrealis or ‘unreal’ uses of the past forms of be and have. Were here is irrealis present tense, and its past form is had been. This is explained in more ...


4

Would is used here to express repeated or habitual action in the past: When I was a kid we would go to the drive-in during the summer. Whenever we went to Nashville my father would visit his former professor, Donald Davidson. In effect, would plays the same semantic role as always in the previous sentence.


4

"Could" and "would" differ in that "could" is telling you about an option among many – or a possibility – and "would" tends to tell you kind of what the standard option is, or the best option. For example, if a customs officer asks me about my luggage, I could say "None of your damn business if I want to declare anything", but I would say "Nothing to ...


4

In this context, the use of the word "think" is generally used to soften the statement. "I don't understand" and "I don't think I understand" mean basically the same thing, but the first one is more blunt, and in some cases could be interpreted as confrontational or impolite (with an implication of "I don't understand because you failed to explain it ...


3

Like to VERB and would like to VERB are not used in the context I believe you have in mind. While it is true that I would like to VERB implies that you want to do it, this is not the primary significance of the expression. These expressions signify that you enjoy the activity, or would enjoy it if you had the opportunity; your desire to do it is inferred ...


3

I would probably use 'would' in a sentence like that if I was discussing something that might or might not happen: If she goes, it seems as though she would be so far separated from us. On the other hand, I would be more likely to use the author's construction if it was something that was definitely going to happen, and I was talking about what I thought ...


3

I'm not sure whether you misunderstand the English expression or the book. I understand “*I don’t want the proposition that she goes” and “*I want she not goes” as expressing the same meaning, but I'm not sure about what you're trying to say with the first one because it has the same issue as the original regarding negating “I want”. If I want her to go, I ...


3

Wish + would can be used. Here is the pattern: wish + would + bare infinitive to express impatience, annoyance or dissatisfaction with a present action. I wish you would stop smoking. ... You are smoking at the moment and it is annoying me. I wish it would stop raining. ... I'm impatient because it is raining and I want to go outside. I wish she'd ...


3

He has need of a new coat (Collins). I think you can say the following, without any difference in meaning: Alida had need of company. Alida needed company. Alida was in need of company. However, the use of the phrase "has/have/had need of" isn't common in use. It seems to be formal or old-fashioned.


3

There is no definitive answer. You can't say "probably" means 80% chance while "likely" means 70% and "maybe" means 40% or any such. I'd quibble with the definition you quote: People often say "probably" meaning "more likely than not, over 50% chance", far from "almost certainly". I'd say anything over 50% could be called "probably". Exactly what the ...


3

A hypothetical situation is posed which uses the subjunctive were. If the action actually happened, was would be more appropriate.


3

SUPPLEMENTAL to Peter's ANSWER. This is a Victorian translation, now more than a hundred and fifty years old, and it employs (as did most translations of that era) a diction which was already very old-fashioned. This were would ordinarily be expressed would be today.


3

I think I left my keys at home. I must have left my keys at home. Neither of those phrases has an "exact" meaning. The first talks about what you think may be true. A thought can just pop into our heads. The second talks about what you have concluded to be true. Conclusions take at least a little bit of reasoning. We use "must" after we have ...


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