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I encountered this text in a grade 6 level English book: "Yes. One day a tortoise and a hare had a race. The hare was sure he
would win so he took a rest. He was too proud and careless. The slow but careful tortoise won the race."  The question was asked of me by a fellow teacher. . . "What is the role of the auxiliary verb 'would' in this text?"

So far, I have concluded the following:
The hare was sure [that] he would win  . . . so he took a rest.
That is the object of the embedded relative clause.
“One day a tortoise and a hare had a race.” That refers back to race. Therefore that can be omitted (but implied). Would then takes on the role of probability. The hare felt that he was 'likely' going to win.

Does anyone have some better input?
Thanks in advance.


'Would' in this context is often called 'future in the past.' The hare was thinking 'I will win the race', so when you report it later, the 'will' changes to 'would.' As in 'I will phone you on Thursday ' gets reported as He said he would phone me on Thursday.

Also tell your co-teacher that 'take a rest' is non standard English.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 437

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Burning Oil Be Best
Yeah, it's weird how so many people use it as if it a proper form. I would be more inclined to say 'have'.

take a rest


What interests me is to find out how this became an accepted form in Korea of the term 'puk swiseyo' You're not saying swinun shiganul dulgo kada, so why translate it as such?  :undecided:
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 3600

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
have a rest, take a break


Yeah, it's weird how so many people use it as if it a proper form. I would be more inclined to say 'have'.

take a rest


What interests me is to find out how this became an accepted form in Korea of the term 'puk swiseyo' You're not saying swinun shiganul dulgo kada, so why translate it as such?  :undecided:

'take a rest' is one of the single, most annoying, ridiculous expressions I hear everyday that really grates with me.  it used to be the 'why so serious' expression, that students would repeat from some stupid song or something. 


I was hoping for more discussion on the merits of the relative clause (where that is omitted).

BTW the quote is taken from the actual text of the book. Some paid "native speaking" author out there wrote that. So, non standard English aside (in speaking it is more standard than people like to admit) but in writing it should have been corrected.

"So far, I have concluded the following:
The hare was sure [that] he would win  . . . so he took a rest.
That is the object of the embedded relative clause.
“One day a tortoise and a hare had a race.” That refers back to race. Therefore that can be omitted (but implied). Would then takes on the role of probability. The hare felt that he was 'likely' going to win."

Thanks again