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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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Comments  (Page 4) 
Ticce is there another reason?
Yes. It has to do with the meaning of "I'm surprised". Surprise is a reaction to an event. You can't be surprised by something that has not yet happened. (Yet you can find it important to make certain that something happens later.)

To get the concept of surprise into the future, you'll need a different construction:

I'll (I will) be surprised if there's any objection.

OR:
I'd (I would) be surprised if there were any objection.
(This one is more hypothetical -- more like 'theorizing', and therefore somewhat timeless. That is, it's outside the world of time, so it can apply to the past, present, or future.)

CJ
Ok. It's logical. However, what about this scenario?

- I know that he will object tomorrow in the meeting.
- If it's true I am surprised that he should object tomorrow.

The second point is that

Why is "should have" not used here?

I think it would be more logical to apply

I am surprised that there should have been any objection.

What is the difference between

I am surprised that there should have been any objection. / I am surprised that there should be any objection.
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Ticcewhat about this scenario?

- I know that he will object tomorrow in the meeting.
- If it's true I am surprised that he should object tomorrow.
That response doesn't seem correct to me. I would say it differently.

-- He'll object (at the meeting tomorrow).
-- That'll be a surprise to me. / That will surprise me.

I'll be surprised if he objects tomorrow is the standard pattern.

I can't think of a scenario where "surprised that he should object tomorrow" sounds right to my ear. Sorry. Emotion: sad

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TicceWhat is the difference between

I am surprised that there should have been any objection. / I am surprised that there should be any objection.
should have been places the objection farther in the past. Perhaps the "sting" of the objection is still being felt with should be, and still must be dealt with as a current issue to be resolved, but the objection is past history with should have been, and has already been dealt with. should be and should have been (in this context) mean just about the same thing. Native speakers don't make a very fine distinction between these. Even if the main clause is in the past, you can use both versions with only the slight difference in meaning mentioned above, though here, because of the past tense in the main clause, perhaps the should have been version is a little more common.

I was surprised that there should [be / have been] any objection.

CJ
Thanks a lot, I see your point. I must admit though that this one sounds like conditional because of it
CalifJimI'll be surprised if he objects tomorrow is the standard pattern.
My version wasn't approved by you, well but it sounded as a fact.Emotion: smile

It seems to me that this should behaves like that only in this construction. I think it is ok to say

I don't know why he should go there tomorrow.
TicceI think it is ok to say

I don't know why he should go there tomorrow.
Yes. This sounds perfectly fine. It's the meaning of the main clause that you have to watch. Knowing is a continuous state inside your head. Surprise is a reaction.
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I don't think any adjectives derived from psych-verbs (verbs of psychological state) can be used in that construction -- not just surprised.

Because of the "object tomorrow", none of these sound correct to my ear:

I am

amused / annoyed / crushed / disgraced / disturbed / encouraged / gladdened / offended / sickened / terrified / troubled / worried / wounded

that he should object tomorrow.
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However, these are OK:

I am

amused / annoyed / crushed / disgraced / disturbed / encouraged / gladdened / offended / sickened / terrified / troubled / worried / wounded

that he should be [going there / seeing her / meeting with them]

tomorrow.

Note the progressive tense and the use of verbs that represent things that are planned ahead of time.

CJ
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Jim, I have three more questions.

1) Is this correct?

I am surprised that he should be going to object tomorrow.

2) Is this correct?
I will be surprised if he should object tomorrow.

3) Id it possible to interpret this sentence either as one having a mandative should or as one having putative should?

I don't know why he should go there tomorrow.