Post by Stefan Ram Post by Pamela
"Should you think she heard me?"
|III. SHOULD YOU? and WOULD YOU? in questions. EXAMPLES
|3. Should you think that ten yards of velvet would be
|enough? [Yes, I should think so.]
|The choice between SHOULD and WOULD in these sentences
|corresponds to the form expected in the answer.
|The chief occasions on which WOULD YOU? is correct are
|(1) in asking advice in a matter of doubt
|(2) in asking consent or permission
Well, to me, this all sounds so confusingly strange, it
|In England, "shall" is used to express the simple future for
|first person ...
|In the United States, we seldom use "shall" ...
|"Should" is usually replaced, nowadays, by "would".
This explanation makes sense, though I can't believe someone is teaching
it as if it were present-day English. Tt's old Fowlerian WILL/SHALL,
again, applied to a very delicate form of questioning. That's why it
sounds strange to living speakers. But it did exist:
1751 R. Paltock Life Peter Wilkins II. xxi. 270 Sir, says I, after a
seeming Muse for some time, what should you think of Oniwheske [for a wife]?
1754 S. Richardson Hist. Sir Charles Grandison VII. xxxviii. 186
Should you, madam,..be unwilling to see the Count as a friend of your
family, as a respecter of your great qualities, as a country-man?
1757 Hist. Two Mod. Adventurers ix. 121 What should you think,
Nanny, said I, of seeing me live like a Lord in the World?
1785 J. Trusler Mod. Times III. 81 Should you like any thing up
stairs, or would you prefer it in the kitchen?
1811 M. R. Mitford Let. 11 Aug. in A. G. L'Estrange Life (1870) I. v.
147 How should you like him for a son-in-law?
1816 Times 7 Sept. 2/3 Should you not think that number of
public-houses and dram-shops most intolerably large?—I should think it
very prejudicial. And much beyond the necessary call?—I should think so.
1819 J. Keats Let. 22 Sept. (1958) II. 179 Should you like me for a
neighbour again? Come now, plump it out, I wont blush.
1853 C. Dickens Bleak House xxxii. 316 ‘Tony,’ says Mr. Guppy,
uncrossing and recrossing his legs again; ‘should you say that the
original was a man's writing or a woman's?’
1872 G. F. Root Normal Musical Hand-bk. iv. xxiv. 299 The first
inversion is when the base is three... What should you suppose the base
would be in the second inversion?
1904 H. James Golden Bowl I. ii. xiii. 240 ‘Should you require to
see the Prince's?’ ‘Not a bit. You can keep that also to yourself.’
[Historical novel set in early 19th century]
1986 P. O'Brian Reverse of Medal vi. 189 Should you like to see a
lesser pettichaps on her nest, not half a mile from here?