7

With the sentence,'I never would have thought that he would behave like that', does the meaning change if I omit 'would'?

  • 1
    I would guess that 'I never have thought' is really a slurring of 'I'd never have though' and so is essentially the same thing. – Sam May 6 '11 at 2:38
10

I never would have thought

this indicates that not only has the thought never occurred to you, there is nothing you can think of that would have caused the thought to occur. It is an expression of surprise at whatever the subject is. e.g. I never would have thought that Bob was capable of robbing a bank!

I never have thought

this means simply that you have never had this thought before, but not indicating any surprise. e.g. I never have thought that Bob was very nice.

  • What about "I would never have thought"? – Jakob Aug 24 '14 at 18:46
  • 1
    @Jakob "would never" and "never would" mean the same thing. – Andrew Lambert Aug 25 '14 at 16:45
3

I never would have thought.

States that you would have never, if given the chance, have thought that something would happen.

I never have thought.

States that you had not, until now, thought that something would happen.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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