grammatical expression: you’d think…but


I have another very common and useful expression for you today. It is “you’d think…but…” It is used when we want to talk about when we have a certain expectation of a situation, but then it isn’t true in reality. For example:

This restaurant is very expensive. You’d think that it would be good, but it’s not.

Frank studies Spanish all the time. You’d think that his Spanish would improve, but it doesn’t.

I threw a surprise birthday party for my girlfriend. You’d think that she would have been happy about it, but she wasn’t.

People in Africa are very poor. You’d think that they would be very unhappy, but many people are not.

So, as you can see from the examples, we usually have a sentence at the beginning which introduces the subject, and then we use the expression to talk about how our expectation turned out to be wrong.

Also, please note that the word “you’d” is the contracted form of “you would”, NOT “you had”.



  1. Daniel Said:

    Hi Michael. I have a doubt about it. Is this expression a contraction of “you would” or “you had”?, How can I perceive the difference between them? Thank you.

    • Hi there.

      The word “you’d” in this case means “you would”. One of the ways to tell the difference between “you had” and “you would” when they are contracted is that “you had” is always followed by the past participle. In this case the past participle of “think” is “thought” (think – thought – thought) Because, this sentence uses “think”, we know it is “you would”. In other cases, another way to tell the difference between them is the context of the sentence.

      Thanks for your good question.


      • Daniel Said:

        Thank you Mike.

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