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Hi, dear members. I have been locked in an argument with a Chinese teacher about the use of "should have thought".
The sentence in question is seemingly from a reference book for preparation of an English test:

Aren't you tired? I should have thought you had done enough today.

I think in this case "should have thought" equals "would have thought", which indicates the speaker is surprised at another guy, who is supposed to be tired but is still vigorous, when he sees the guy is still working. The speaker expected the other guy to be tired but it turns out otherwise. It also indicates the other guy is doing the work of his own volition, not being forced.

But the Chinese teacher insist that "should have thought" means "the speaker should have thought he was tired but actually the speaker didn't", indicating the speaker regrets having been inconsiderate towards the other guy by pushing the guy to do some work although the the guy was already tired.
And he he thinks "would have thought" expresses speculation of the past or subjunctive mood, which is different from "should have thought".

But I have read many threads here and know that "should have thought" is just another way of saying "would have thought", so I disagree with him.

So who is right? Please shed light on this.

Thank you.

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Comments  (Page 3) 

Hi, GPY. I'm sorry for doing this topic again. But some questions just occurred to me.

Is "contrary to expectations" use of "would have thought" in essence "imaginary past situation with weak condition" use?

And do you think the underlined part in the following examples are "contrary to expectations"?

1. "The food supplies amazed her but did not reassure her as much as she might have thought".

2. "This is the last place I would have expected to see you.”

3. "The situation was better than I would/could/might have expected"

Thank you in advance.

zuotengdazuoIs "contrary to expectations" use of "would have thought" in essence "imaginary past situation with weak condition" use?

I think what I said above still applies: "... this is not something to focus on too much. We understand 'would have thought/believed' well enough without explicitly formulating a condition in our minds."

zuotengdazuoAnd do you think the underlined part in the following examples are "contrary to expectations"?

Yes, they all seem to be broadly the same idea.

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GPYYes, they all seem to be broadly the same idea.

Thank you. GPY. I'm asking this because I'm wondering if "might/could have pp" can express the idea of "contrary to expectations". Now I think I can reach such a conclusion:

If we know for sure what the speaker thought in fact, we cannot say "somebody might/could have thought/believed/expected, etc" to express "contrary to expectations" (for example, we can't say "Aren't you tired? I could/might have thought you had done enough today")

But if we don't know for sure what the speaker thought in fact, we can say "somebody might/could have thought/believed/expected, etc" to express "contrary to expectations", as in "The situation was better than I could/might have expected".

Right?

I don't understand what it means, or how it is relevant, to talk about what "we" know, when someone is speaking about themselves in the first person.

I just mean, for example, why can't we say "Aren't you tired? I could/might have thought you had done enough today" while we can say "The situation was better than I could/might have expected"?

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I'm not too sure. Perhaps it is something to do with "you have done enough today" being untrue, and "the situation was better" being true.

Thank you. GPY.

I have another two sentences which I think also express the idea of "imaginary reaction", as in sentence 1

“You rode with these wildlings,” said Thorne. “Mance Rayder knows you. He will be more inclined to trust you.”
That was so wrong Jon might have laughed. “You’ve got it backward. Mance suspected me from the first. If I show up in his camp wearing a black cloak again and speaking for the Night’s Watch, he’ll know that I betrayed him.”

I think the underlined part implies that Jon didn't actually laugh. By "might have laughed", the author is just imagining Jon's reaction.

“He’s dead!” Joffrey sounded so proud and happy you might have thought he’d skinned Robb Stark himself.

Again, the event "you had thought" didn't happen.

1. Years before, he had so insulted her that now Miss Pitty never spoke of him except in guarded whispers and with so great reticence that a stranger would have thought the honest old lawyer a murderer, at the least.

Is my thinking right?

Thank you.

zuotengdazuo“You rode with these wildlings,” said Thorne. “Mance Rayder knows you. He will be more inclined to trust you.”That was so wrong Jon might have laughed. “You’ve got it backward. Mance suspected me from the first. If I show up in his camp wearing a black cloak again and speaking for the Night’s Watch, he’ll know that I betrayed him.”
I think the underlined part implies that Jon didn't actually laugh. By "might have laughed", the author is just imagining Jon's reaction.

Right, the author is imagining a possible reaction that might have happened (would have been justified/understandable) but didn't actually happen.

zuotengdazuo“He’s dead!” Joffrey sounded so proud and happy you might have thought he’d skinned Robb Stark himself.
Again, the event "you had thought" didn't happen.

Yes, the thought is imagined -- it is not said to have actually occurred, and "you" is not a specific or definite person anyway.

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Much appreciated, GPY.

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