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  1. #1
    jiaruchan is offline Member
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    Default Subjunctive mood

    Background:

    John is asked to correct any errors that he can find in an essay as part of a language training course. There are five errors, but John can only find three. The teacher may say the following to him:

    There should have been two more errors that you could have picked out.
    There should have been two more errors that you could pick out.
    There should be two more errors that you could have picked out.
    There should be two more errors that you can pick out.

    Please advise which of the above four sounds most natural and correct in English. Thank you.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    Background:

    John is asked to correct any errors that he can find in an essay as part of a language training course. There are five errors, but John can only find three. The teacher may say the following to him:

    There should have been two more errors that you could have picked out.
    There should have been two more errors that you could pick out.
    There should be two more errors that you could have picked out.
    There should be two more errors that you can pick out.

    Please advise which of the above four sounds most natural and correct in English. Thank you.
    They are all a bit awkward, try: "There are two more errors that you should be able to find".

  3. #3
    euncu's Avatar
    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "There are two more errors that you should be able to find".
    Could "to detect" be used instead of "to find" in this sentence?

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    Could "to detect" be used instead of "to find" in this sentence?
    Yes, it could.

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