Dear teachers,
Please let me know if I understand the tense of "emotional should" correctly.

(A) I'm surprised that Jack should feel lonely.
(B) I'm surprised that Jack should have felt lonely.

(A) Jack feels lonely at present and I am also at present surprised about the fact.
(B) Jack felt lonely before and now I am surprised about the fact.

(C) I was surprised that Jack should felt lonely.
(D) I was surprised that Jack should have felt lonely

(C) Both my surprise and Jack's loneliness happened in the past. (the same past tense)
(D) Jack felt lonely before I knew and was surprised about the fact.
Last edited {1}
Original Post
You've done a very nice job interpreting these sentences, Yun. Just one thing: In the first (C) I'm sure you meant to write should feel, not should felt.

It would be hard, perhaps, to get into your interpretations this point, but keep in mind that this use of should can communicate a distancing on the part of the speaker/writer from the issue and even a type of skepticism about the issue being discussed.
Thank you very much, Richard.
I am really happy that I came to know this site.
I always appreciate the devoted moderators, you and Rachel.
We're glad you've found the Grammar Exchange, Yun. We appreciate you, too! Smile

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