It was my idea to go to London.

Hi there,

Is there a difference in meaning between these two sentences:

  • It was my idea to go to London.

  • It was my idea that we should go to London.

Thanks.

The first one doesn’t point to any specific person while the second, we

Honestly, I don’t know what you mean. Thanks

Hi, all of you

I think I may have found the difference myself, because there is a difference between the two sentences.

  • You could replace my second sentence by: ‘I thought we were going to London, but were not.’ or ‘I wanted to go to London.’

I shall make it clearer by the following dialogue (from the BBC serie the Indian Doctor)

-Doctor: It was your idea to come to Wales.
-Wife: No, it was my idea that we should go to London.

Alexandro

Hi Alexandro,
You haven’t quite picked out the difference from that dialogue, as the difference is smaller than you indicate.

It was my idea to go to London.

  • I wanted to go to London. (They might have gone there or they might not have)
    It was my idea that we should go to London.
  • I thought we should go to London. (They might have gone there or they might not have)

The dialogue in thar programme could just have easily gone like this:

Doctor: It was your idea that we should come to Wales.
Wife: No, it was my idea to go to London.

When the wife suggested moving from India to the UK, she was thinking of London, where her father had colleagues. However the doctor arranged a job in a Welsh mining village instead, so she wasn’t happy.

Thanks Beeesneees, so there’s actually very little or no difference at all. May I assume then, that the use of ‘should’ is actually a bit formal or not?

I would agree with that conclusion, Alexandro.

Thanks Beeesneees!