student asking question

Why is "would" being used here instead of "did"?


Native speaker’s answer


Actually, there are different reasons for the use of "would you look at that?" It's used as a rhetorical question to draw attention to something. Thus, the speaker isn't actually asking if the others are seeing the scene of Belle and the Beast getting along well. As a result, "did" not only sounds awkward here but also changes the meaning of the sentence itself if used (from being used as a rhetorical question to becoming an actual question requiring answering). Ex: Wow, would you look at that - the sunset is so beautiful today. Ex: Would you look at the time! I've got to get going.

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