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Thread: I should want

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    I should want

    This is a quote from "Dune" by F. Herbert:

    "They'll not watch you in this thing," the Duke said. "You'll keep the secret. You must." He walked to the windows, spoke without turning. "This way, if anything should happen to me, you can tell her the truth—that I never doubted her, not for the smallest instant. I should want her to know this."

    Technically I understand, of course, what it means, but is it grammatically correct?
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  2. #2
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    Re: I should want

    Yes, it is grammatically correct. It's just a very dramatic way of speaking, but technically, nothing is wrong with it.

  3. #3
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    Re: I should want

    I think it's just another way of saying “I should like her to know this”, is it not?

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Oh, in normal speech I'd have said I would want, right?
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    Re: I should want

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Oh, in normal speech I'd have said I would want, right?
    Yes. It also means "I want her to know this (eventually)." "Should" in this context is formal and somewhat archaic. Another reading of the word is possible --> "I should want her to know this (but I don't)." But it doesn't look like that is correct for this context.

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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Technically, that is the subjunctive voice and it is used because the man is not sure that his wife will be told so he uses "should" instead of for example, "I want her to know." The use of "should" instead of "would" here sounds either British or old fashioned.
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  7. #7
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Technically, that is the subjunctive voice and it is used because the man is not sure that his wife will be told so he uses "should" instead of for example, "I want her to know." The use of "should" instead of "would" here sounds either British or old fashioned.
    I just seldom see such things. The word 'should' is usually associated with the meaning 'have to', but less imperative. I didn't occur to me that should can also be used in subjunctive mood with the 'I' pronoun like the shall/will pair. No one I know uses the 'I shall' construction.
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  8. #8
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    Re: I should want

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    The word 'should' is usually associated with the meaning 'have to', but less imperative.
    But how about, for example, "Should I come late, you can eat my dinner" ?
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  9. #9
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    The word 'should' is usually associated with the meaning 'have to', but less imperative.
    But how about, for example, "Should I come late, you can eat my dinner" ?
    I mean - beside the subjunctive. (But even in the constructions like 'I/you/he/we should do smth.' it's still the uncertainity about whether or not the action would be taken). Your example is definetely subjunctive.
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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    I just seldom see such things. The word 'should' is usually associated with the meaning 'have to', but less imperative. I didn't occur to me that should can also be used in subjunctive mood with the 'I' pronoun like the shall/will pair. No one I know uses the 'I shall' construction.
    I shall/will are future tense, not subjunctive.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  11. #11
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil

    I just seldom see such things. The word 'should' is usually associated with the meaning 'have to', but less imperative. I didn't occur to me that should can also be used in subjunctive mood with the 'I' pronoun like the shall/will pair. No one I know uses the 'I shall' construction.
    I shall/will are future tense, not subjunctive.
    This knowledge has changed my entire life. )))
    What I meant was the usage of 'shall' with pronouns 'I' and 'we' and 'will' with the rest of them has similar pattern with using of 'should' and 'would' depending on the pronoun. It's a rule I have learnt some quite time ago and forgotten by now since nobody uses "I/we should" like this (except for 'I'd better do this') the same as nobody uses "I/we shall". Everyone keeps saying 'I would' for subjunctive and 'I will' for the future tense.
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  12. #12
    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    I didn't occur to me that should can also be used in subjunctive mood with the 'I' pronoun like the shall/will pair.
    In English syntax this sentence reads like:
    It didn't occur to me that should can also be used in subjunctive mood with the 'I' pronoun like the shall/will pair (are used in the subjunctive).

    I think your meaning is:
    It didn't occur to me that the pronoun I can be used in the subjunctive with the word "should," in the same way that it can be used with the pair I shall/I will.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  13. #13
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: I should want

    Yes.
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