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. #21
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    If he is such a good doctor,
    he would have diagnosed the illness.
    he should have diagnosed the illness.


    Diagnosis - to distinguish or identify (example: a disease) by diagnosis, or to analyze the nature or cause of.

    First sentence:

    If he is such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the illness. (1) We can infer from this that he did some kind of diagnosis on the patient, but did not find out about the illness.
    (2) Or, that he did know about the illness, but did not analyze it further to draw a complete conclusion about it.

    For the second sentence:

    If he is such a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the illness. (1) What can be understood here is that he knew about the illness, but did not make a thorough analysis of it, therefore limiting what can be concluded from the diagnosis. The implication here can be that all good doctors should diagnose the illness.
    (2)Also, a possibility that he did not find out about the illness exists, and as the sentence may state he was supposed to.

    Both parts of each sentence seem to work for each conditional. Although, I think the first part of each sentence fits the meaning of these conditionals somewhat better then the second.

    1. If he is such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the illness. (1) We can infer from this that he did some kind of diagnosis on the patient, but did not find out about the illness.

    2. If he is such a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the illness. (1) What can be understood here is that he knew about the illness, but did not make a thorough analysis of it, therefore limiting what can be concluded from the diagnosis. Based on the implication that all good doctors should diagnose the illness.

    Now, does this make any sense
    Last edited by incognittum; 02-Jul-2006 at 15:53.

  2. #22
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    With 'would', doesn't it work better with 'were such a good doctor'?

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    We have to imply that one of these sentences means he did not find the illness and in other that he has found out about it but did not make any further analysis of it.

    "Is" refers to that he is a good doctor, for instance; other doctors and patients claim that he is a good doctor. The speaker is contradicting this by saying; he would have diagnosed the illness, but did not find it.

    If he is so good, he would have diagnosed it. The word "would" means that while performing the analysis he was supposed to find something wrong with the patient, but did not. It is claimed that the illness exists within the patient, but the doctor did not diagnose it, in other words did not find the illness.

    For the word "should" it may state that he found the illness, but did not diagnose it further, as in; he knows about the illness and did not analyse it beyond to get more information about it.

    Both of these words can be used either way with both meanings. I think it just depends on personal preference.


    PHP Code:
    With 'would'doesn't it work better with 'were such a good doctor'? 
    It does not make much difference to me if you use "was a good doctor" or "is a good doctor" it depends if you want to refer to past or present.

    I need pointers with my writing, if anyone sees errors and such I would appreciate if you pointed that out.
    Thank you all.
    Last edited by incognittum; 04-Jul-2006 at 13:20.

  4. #24
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    This first/third conditional does tend to be used mostly with 'should', though not exclusively. With 'would'the degree of certainty pushes it more towards using the past tense because with the higher degree of certainty, then there is less room for doubt about his inability to me.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    That does make a strong argument!

  6. #26
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    I think, though, that it's a matter of preference. I would rarely use 'would' in a sentence like this, though know that others would.

  7. #27
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    Lightbulb Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    i voted and i voted wrong


    well guys it's both one and two because it's mixed
    1-3
    if+present..........would +have+ p.p
    (should, could,might)

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Most sentences of this type use 'should', as seen in the answers, but this is more of an open question than a right/wrong question, and both is not an incorrect answer.

  9. #29
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Both,

    1. "If he is such a good doctor"

    AND

    2. "If he was such a good doctor"

    are possible. The first, using 'is' is more confrontative. In English, past tense forms are often used to show greater doubt [more deference/greater politeness]. The subjunctive form and its partner 'was' both do this.

    Number 1 could be viewed in this fashion;

    A: He's a great doctor.

    B: Yeah right! What a quack! If he's such a good doctor, ... .

  10. #30
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    If he is such a good doctor,
    he would have diagnosed the illness.
    he should have diagnosed the illness.

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    As to the modal meaning, again, you have to be careful which modal meaning is intended. You're going to be all over the board if one person is talking about deontic 'should' and another is thinking epistemic 'should'.

    BrE makes greater use of 'should' in an epistemic sense to mean almost the same thing as 'would', sort of like a strong 'probably'. For NaE, 'should' used in these situations would more easily be read with a deontic modal meaning; "it would have been a good thing if he had diagnosed the illness.

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