English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

On page 6 of The Remains of the Day, I read:

...my new employer in several other instances had had occasion to call upon such qualities as it may be my good fortune to possess and found them to be, I would venture, dependable.

This is a part of a sentence that I am having trouble with. Without the phrase "I would venture", I can understand this. I want to know how to comprehend this with the phrase.

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, jwpat7, Matt E. Эллен, Mitch, kiamlaluno Apr 24 '12 at 14:07

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

General Reference: Merriam-Webster venture - to offer at the risk of rebuff, rejection, or censure <venture an opinion>. – FumbleFingers Apr 18 '12 at 13:03
up vote 3 down vote accepted

"I would venture" means something like "I would like to suggest". You could even read it as "in my opinion".

share|improve this answer
Or you could read it as "in my humble opinion" to get the sense of [false] modesty that Joel Brown mentions. – JLG Apr 18 '12 at 11:59

I would venture as used in your quote indicates that the speaker is expressing (probably false) modesty.

share|improve this answer
Your comment helped me as much as the one by David! – YNi Apr 18 '12 at 12:05

"I would venture" here is basically a more formal version of "I reckon". From Wiktionary:

To conclude, as by an enumeration and balancing of chances; hence, to think; to suppose; -- followed by an objective clause;


I reckon he won't try that again.

share|improve this answer

This is a hedge. The person using it is not committing fully to what they are saying or trying not to disagree with someone else too strongly. It means I'd like to suggest this idea.

share|improve this answer

"... found them to be dependable" is speculation as to the opinion of another. It is a presumption, and is thus qualified by "I would venture". An alternative would be "I would dare say".

Note that the very next sentence is also a speculation, this time qualified by "I assume":

So it was, I assume, that he felt immediately able to talk to me in a businesslike and trusting way ...

The narrator is a butler whose job it is not to presume upon his employer, yet in order to tell this part of the story he must speculate on his employer's thoughts. No wonder qualifies what he says.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.