View Poll Results: If he is such a good doctor,...

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1379. This poll is closed
  • he should have diagnosed the illness.

    665 48.22%
  • he would have diagnosed the illness.

    327 23.71%
  • Either

    387 28.06%
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  1. #11
    Christopher Guest
    If he is such a good doctor he would have diagnesed the illness, because if he wasn't he may have not known anything about that sort of illness.

  2. #12
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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  3. #13
    RonBee's Avatar
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  4. #14
    sylvia philobos Guest

    Smile Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    if he were/ had been such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the disease.

    this means that he is not a good doctor that is why he could not diagnose the disease.
    this is correct if you want to follow the rule. However I think the one with should makes sense because that is what is expected from a good doctor.
    Last edited by sylvia philobos; 27-Apr-2005 at 22:00.

  5. #15
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    Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia philobos
    if he were/ had been such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the disease.

    this means that he is not a good doctor that is why he could not diagnose the disease.
    this is correct if you want to follow the rule. However I think the one with should makes sense because that is what is expected from a good doctor.
    So.... what is the final verdict? I was more comfortable with no.1, but after reading all your comments, I'm not sure anymore!!

    I think the sentence 'if he had been a good doctor, he would have dignosed the disease' is used in a different situation, an even that happened in a more distant past. It's sort of like talking about a past event, isn't it? e.g. Mary has been suffering from anorexia all these years. She went to see Dr Death last year, and if he had been a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the disease.

    Whereas the original question 'if he is/were a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the disease' sounds more like something that just happened recently....

    someone... please enlighten me.

    Oh, and I'm also a new member. Nice to meet you all!

    neurobotanist

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    If he is such a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the illness- This is the one I'd use, where he didn't diagnose the illness, but the question about his medical ability is current.

  7. #17
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    Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    So, the right answer is the one 1
    What a pity!

  8. #18
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    It's a rare and very mixed conditional.

  9. #19
    Hamburg is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Both imply that the man is not a very good doctor. (I'm good at stating the obvious )

    I think that "He should have" is more critical of the man's abilities than "He would have", that though may be due to my Glasgow dialect.
    Last edited by Hamburg; 21-May-2006 at 11:36.

  10. #20
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    Smile Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Hi, I'm new here. I agree with Iain (good Scottish spelling!) that were (or was) would be more usual in the 'if' part, because we obviously have our doubts. To me 'If he is such a good doctor' is more likely to lead into a question than a conditional; i.e. 'If he is such a good doctor, why didn't he diagnose the illness?' But I can't say that either sounds totally wrong.

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