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. #31
    csharp's Avatar
    csharp is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    English Grammar and Writing : English language courses, English Grammar Online
    I haven't seen any mixed conditional sentence like this. I think there're only 2 kinds of mixed condition. You can find it at the link I gave. In this case, you should use "were", not "is".

  2. #32
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    There are many mixed conditionals. This one with 'is' does exist, but it is not common and normally occurs with 'should have + past participle'.

  3. #33
    Vincentiu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    I believe that, as it was partially said before, "is" in "if he is such a good doctor" means that the doctor is said to be a good one, regardless the time, of course, but that the speaker is rather skeptic. On the other hand, using "were", as in: "if he were a good doctor", changes the actual meaning in the respect that the skepticism of the speaker is greater; it is less likely of him to be a good doctor.
    Yet, not only can we talk about the probability criterium, but also about the 'origin' of the information regarding the doctor's ability: the first type of sentence implies the fact that the speaker is using information that he only heard of ("they say that he is a good doctor"), whereas the second type should be more dependent on the speaker's subjectivity.
    I must admit that I am not absolutely sure about what I have just written, but this the way I understand it.
    As far as the alternatives are concerned, I chose the first because I think it fits better than the second one. I do not reject the latter option, but "is", in this context, almost necessarily means "should": "Given the fact that he is such a good doctor, at least this is what they say, we would expect from him to get that diagnosis right".

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Any comments?

    I think the sentence would be better with:

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

    thanks

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    So what's the conclusion? Should is quite acceptable, right?

  6. #36
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Yup.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    That sentence could be complemented with both: should or would
    With should- the doctor knew the illness, but he didn't want to say anything about it because he considered it curable, but the patient died.
    Would- the doctor didn't recognize the ilness and he said nothing because he ignored it. I think.

  8. #38
    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    "Should" as an auxiliary of the subjunctive mood is used to express a supposition that may or may not be true whereas "would" is used to express the conclusion of a condition contrary to fact. I presume the good doctor didnít diagnose the illness, I would vote for the 2nd choice.

  9. #39
    lisalia is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    I voted for should, but would sounds equally good in hindsight. So I think the correct choice would be the third choice, 'either'.

    I think should works if the condition is spoken with anger and criticism directed towards the doctor. To me, should conveys an obligation and/or expectation. The word 'such' indicates that the doctor was perceived to be of good reputation, which would make diagnosing illnesses his/her obligation to the patient and patient's expectation of him. A scene that would be suitable for this sentence: An unsatisfied patient lashing out at a relative who referred her to the doctor because of his reputation: 'If he is such a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the illness!'

    On the other hand, the second choice (would) would be used if the speaker is sympathetic towards the doctor. I imagine it being spoken in a regretful tone. 'If he is such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the illness'. I feel that this sentence is as sad as sentences starting with 'If only...'.

    Please excuse me if the explanation may seem a bit strange; I haven't done any grammar exercise in ages and I tend to rely on 'feelings' for this sort of things nowadays.

  10. #40
    JACOOL is offline Member
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    I've read through the replys and as far as I an tell that both are corret, am I right? However I chose Either although I think 'should ' is more fimiliar, why? I don't know. What do you think teachers?help

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