Author Topic: the meaning of a sentence  (Read 2122 times)

Offline Takashi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
the meaning of a sentence
« on: December 17, 2019, 06:06:53 pm »
I'd appreciate it if you could help me with the following sentence.

"My parents told me to come home by 10 o'clock or they would lock the doors and not let me into the house until the next morning."

Could you tell me if the sentence refers to what happened regularly?  If that is the case, "My parents told me..." is close in its meaning to "My parents often / sometimes told me...

Or could it refer to a one-time event? Is that is the case, I have trouble understanding why it says "they would lock the doors and not let me in the house until the next morning."

I feel that this "would" is similar to "would" as in "We would normally spend the winter in Miami," but I am not quite certain if I am right about this.

Thank you very much.

Takashi

Offline Darryl

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Far North Queensland, Australia
Re: the meaning of a sentence
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2019, 09:07:18 am »
No, I think it is a one-time event. "Would' doesn't necessarily mean it happens regularly.

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4130
  • In the heart of Shropshire
    • Lydbury English Centre Ltd
Re: the meaning of a sentence
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2019, 10:16:25 am »
I agree with Darryl. "told" indicates that it was a one-time event; "would" indicates hypothesis.
Best wishes,

Duncan