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Hello

A grammar book of mine (A Communicative Grammar of English, 3rd Edition, Longman, Leech & Svartvik) talks about "putative should" as follows.

[1] I'm surprised that there should be any objection.
[2] I'm surprised that there is an objection
There is a difference between [1] and [2]. In [1], it is the 'very idea' of the objection that surprises me, not the objection as a fact.


I'm quite uncertain what the authors are talking about by saying "the 'very idea' of the objection that surprises". Does they mean the sentence mean "I'm surprised at such an objection"? If so, why not "such an" but "any" is being used here?

paco
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Paco2004
Hello

A grammar book of mine (A Communicative Grammar of English, 3rd Edition, Longman, Leech & Svartvik) talks about "putative should" as follows.

[1] I'm surprised that there should be any objection.
[2] I'm surprised that there is an objection
There is a difference between [1] and [2]. In [1], it is the 'very idea' of the objection that surprises me, not the objection as a fact.


I'm quite uncertain what the authors are talking about by saying "the 'very idea' of the objection that surprises". Does they mean the sentence mean "I'm surprised at such an objection"? If so, why not "such an" but "any" is being used here?

paco

I thought sharing [url=http://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/340600179/m/119105519/r/527109719 ] This URL[/url] might add something to this topic. What I learned about "putative should" is that it is used with certain adjectives that connotes the idea that speaker is objecting the fact.
Hi, Krish

Thank you for the nice link.

paco
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Paco2004Clive

Thank you again. I'm sorry for bothering you so much. But may I continue? Frankly I did not still get clear so called putative use of "should". The book gives another example: "It's a pity that you should have to leave". How different it is from "It's a pity that you have to leave"? In this case, the speaker should know "you" is going to leave, and so the sense of "should" would be different from that in "I'm surprised that there should be an objection". My brain is still cloudy. Please help me if you have a time.

paco

Is it correct to use "a" with time?
Paco2004Hello

A grammar book of mine (A Communicative Grammar of English, 3rd Edition, Longman, Leech & Svartvik) talks about "putative should" as follows.

[1] I'm surprised that there should be any objection.
[2] I'm surprised that there is an objection
There is a difference between [1] and [2]. In [1], it is the 'very idea' of the objection that surprises me, not the objection as a fact.

I'm quite uncertain what the authors are talking about by saying "the 'very idea' of the objection that surprises". Does they mean the sentence mean "I'm surprised at such an objection"? If so, why not "such an" but "any" is being used here?

paco

Is there a mistake in the highlighted sentence?
Yes. "They" should be "it". A very obvious mistake. Emotion: crying

paco
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AnonymousBut in the sentence "He insisted that I should leave as early as possible", the speaker expresses his opinion, whether the action "leave as early as possible" will become factual is not concerned in the sentence. I'd like to hear from you. Thanks a lot.

Hello Anon

Yes, I'd agree with you: we don't know whether the speaker did "leave as early as possible".

MrP
Nice old threadEmotion: smile

I've got something from another site, and I think it's quite relevant in emphasizing the element of chance:

The putative should communicates that something happens by chance or that the speaker/writer isn't really convinced of it happening.
Good point. Recall that in probability theory (the study of chance) there is a great deal of talk about "expect values". Hence, my earlier remarks in this thread connecting "putative should" with expectations.

CJ
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Old thread but useful. I have read it and there is still one thing which wasn't answered but was asked by Anon.

1] I'm surprised that there should be any objection.

He was asking why it refers to the past and not to the future. I would also like to ask you if the future meaning completely impossible here.

Mr.Pedantic, Clive and Jim say that it refers to the past as far as I understand.
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How do we figure it out? Let me give you my theory and confusion.

1) If we admit that subjunctive is involved here then we can find similar examples refering to the FUTURE

It's important that he should call me. (If I am not going to slip up it should mean that - It's important for somebody to get a call from him in the FUTURE)

2) I wonder why it is impossible to have the reference to the future in this sentence

I'm surprised that there should be any objection.

Is it because of putative should, may be it doesn't follow all the rules subjuntive follows or is there another reason?
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