English Grammar


Should Would Could

Bonjour,
Whenever Horatio was angry, he could would (3) put a snake in his mother's bed. (Could was rejected)
I think that would means "each time" and I do not feel Horatio so previsible. But he is crazy enough to do it.
That's why I prefer could rather than would.


But my daughter tells me that plenty of things have changed since Shakespeare, and she doesn't even think that I could understand Shakespearian English. So, I'm probably wrong.
But, I believe, not completely out of the game (That's why I'm here) .
Cordialement as we say in my Company

5 comments

  • Hello you BailleCl!


    I share your thought about whenever and would. Whenever, as a conjunction, means every thime that. Therefore would suits the best.


    But I don't share your opinion about the funny character of Horatio.
    As long as I met with Horatio on the Delavigne premises and elsewhere along with the GG stories, I am not surprised at such behaviour of his. Putting a snake in one's mother's bed when being angry is quite his predictable behavior.


    Nice to be in the loop of modern English while remembering the Shakespearian one. Nice to be embedded in the friendly atmosphere of your company.
    Cordially!
  • Hello BailleCl and Gee!


    Thanks for your reflections (considerations, thoughts, comments) about/on this subject.
    Perhaps I didn't understand the sentence in the right way till now.
    Does the "would" here express an intention, a willingness, a wish, a determination or a general habit?
    If it is the last case, we could place "he used to put" instead of "he would put" without changing the meaning of the sentence.
    CW
    AmitiƩ
  • Hi the three of you!


    In my opinion,Gwendo,"would" expresses a habit since,as Gee said,whenever means every time that.
    Therefore, "used to" could (!)indeed be used as well: he used to put a snake in his mother's bed.
    BailleCl, tell us if you still can't understand why "could" was rejected. One of us will try to answer your question(s)
    "Would" can't always replace "used to" to express past habits but that's another pair of shoes!It's not easy to understand without a lot of examples.
    If you are interested, it's quite clear on the following threads:
    http://www.zozanga.com/grammar/usedtotext2.htm
    OR
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1837_aae/page9.shtml
    If you want to do an exercise on this tricky use, go to:
    http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/exercises/exercise10.html


    All the best.
  • Thanks, Silky, for giving us a hand with these precious additional lessons, which I enjoyed very much, above all the BBC Audio File.
    It was really nice doing these exercises.
    CW
  • What a wonderful teacher, that Silky!

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