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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 5) 
zuotengdazuo4. He smiled as he poured. “As to Grand Maester Pycelle... if my sweet sister is so concerned for him, I would have thought she’d come herself. Instead she sends you.

In this sentence, given the "if ...", I would use "I would have / I'd have thought ....". You may see both "... she'd come" and "... she'd have come" used.

Thank you. So why does the use of "if my sweet sister ..." call for the use of "I would have thought" rather than "I (had) thought"?

I've found another example:

"... I have heard of these dwarf’s pennies. No doubt collecting those is such a dreadful chore.”
“I leave the collecting to others, my lady.”
“Oh, do you? I would have thought you might want to tend to it yourself. We can’t have the crown being cheated of its dwarf’s pennies, now. Can we?”

If there is no if clause, then we can say "I thought/had thought", as in the example above, right?

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zuotengdazuoThank you. So why does the use of "if my sweet sister ..." call for the use of "I would have thought" rather than "I (had) thought"?

"if ... would" is a standard combination.

zuotengdazuo“Oh, do you? I would have thought you might want to tend to it yourself. We can’t have the crown being cheated of its dwarf’s pennies, now. Can we?” If there is no if clause, then we can say "I thought/had thought", as in the example above, right?

In this case all three would work. The nuances are slightly different. For example, "I had thought" and "I thought" suggest that the speaker has previously actually thought about it, whereas "I would have thought" need not.

Thank you very much. I see. Can I ask further? Can the main clause be changed into "you might have wanted to ..."? i.e.

5a. I would have thought you might have wanted to tend to it yourself.

5b. I would have thought you might want to tend to it yourself.

5c. I had thought you might have wanted to tend to it yourself.

5d. I had thought you might want to tend to it yourself.

5e. I thought you might have wanted to tend to it yourself.

5f. I thought you might want to tend to it yourself.

Given your previous answer to the "she’d come herself" example, I think 5a=5b and 5c=5d=5e=5f, right? Because this is direct speech rather than narrative so it's different from the White Fawn example.

Those are all possible. In addition to the differences between "would have thought", "had thought" and "thought" that I alluded to earlier, "might have wanted to" can feel slightly more hypothetical or unfulfilled (or not-to-be-fulfilled) than "might want to".

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Thank you. I would have thought there are other differences, for example, "might have wanted" refers to past wanting before the time of "(had) thought" while "might want" refers to future wanting after the time of "(had) thought"? And "thought" refers to "now" (the now in the novel) whereas "had thought" refers to a past time before "now"?

Or regardless of the nuances between "would have thought", "had thought" and "thought" and those between "might have wanted" and "might want", all the sentences from 5a to 5f mean the same thing, right?

Hi. Maybe my last question is repetitive. I just want to make sure one thing: if the subject is first person, as in "

5c. I would have thought/had thought/thought you might have wanted to tend to it yourself.

5d. I would have thought/had thought/thought you might want to tend to it yourself.",

we tend to interpret the "modal + have + pp" in the subordinate clause in light of its unfulfilment.

But if the subject is not first person, as in "

He would have thought/had thought/thought that the White Fawn would have taught Merrett to stay clear of outlaw wenches.

He would have thought/had thought/thought that the White Fawn would teach Merrett to stay clear of outlaw wenches."

then we tend to interpret the "modal + have + pp" in the subordinate clause in light of its tense.

But either way, the difference between "X would have thought" and "X (had) thought" remains the same.

I don't know if this is a rule or something else?

zuotengdazuoI don't know if this is a rule or something else?

I don't recognise such a "rule". To be honest, I can't really see what you are getting at.

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GPYI don't recognise such a "rule". To be honest, I can't really see what you are getting at.

Well, I don't think such as rule exists now, either. But beyond doubt, I draw this conclusion based on what you tell me.

Now I think chances are good that this conclusion is correct:

when "modals + have + past participle" appear in the main clause, they usually have hypothetical/counterfactual meaning. But when it is used in subordinate clauses after words like "think", "expect", "hope", etc. , the hypothetical/counterfactual meaning is cancelled. Instead, they just have a temporal meaning, namely, indicate something happened at an earlier time in the past, anterior to time indicated by their plain modal construction counterparts, which doesn't have hypothetical/counterfactual meaning either.

That is to say, like the sentence "he would have thought/had thought/thought White Fawn would have taught ...", the sentence "I would have thought/had thought/thought you might have wanted to tend to it yourself" doesn't have a counterfactual/hypothetical meaning either. Compared to "you might want to", "might have wanted to" is more past, rather than more hypothetical. I know this contradicts what you have previously told me, but I think it is logical to think so, otherwise my previous "rule" would work.

Please let me know what you think. Thank you.

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