Can we use would in this sentence: "I would see a great jacket, but you wouldn't let me buy it."? According to Passages 1 book- a book for learning English conversation- when we use would to refer to past habituals, we cannot use it with stative verbs. As far as I know see and maybe let- I am not so sure about let- are stative verbs in this sentence. Now this the question: Can we use would with stative verbs in such sentences referring to past habituals? P.s. the sentence is an example sentence in the book, unit 9, lesson B. P.s.2: the context of this sentence is an e-mail to a friend who is moved away. And the e-mail sender is talking about things they used to do together and so on. Thank you all in advance for all the time and effort you spend to kindly answer me. :-)
Dec 12, 2016 5:30 PM
Answers · 10
I'm not sure why you think "let" might be a stative verb (let is "causative" but not stative as far as I know). "stative verb" means the verb describes a "state" rather than an action, like the verb "be" in most of its usage. But you should go by the meaning in the given context rather than thinking whether a verb is stative or not. As far as using such verbs with "would" for past habitual actions, here are some examples: - I would be a lawyer in those days, ... (the lawyer job is a state, not an action, so it sounds funny) - I would be a shy child, ... (same - "a shy child" implies a personality, not an action) But sometimes "be" can be used with such "would" too. - I would be deliberately funny but you wouldn't get it. "be" here means "acting in a certain way", so the phrase means "I would act funny but you didn't understand my jokes". The point is that the intended meaning is the important thing, not just which verb is used.
December 12, 2016
Hi To answer this simply I'd say the sentence should be as follows, if the sender is talking about things they used to do together- as you have said. "I saw a great jacket, but you wouldn't let me buy it." Or "I did see a great jacket, but you wouldn't let me buy it." This is just to answer simply if the use of would sounds /is correct. Here is a further better suggestion.
December 12, 2016
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