I choose would
Am I wrong
- For Teachers
I choose would
Am I wrong
If you look at the results, it is clear that the majority favour should, but I would not say that your answer is wrong, though in this form of very mixed conditional, should is used much more frequently than would.
Both sound correct to me, only that the second sentence has a more powerful meaning, suggesting that we have extremely serious doubts whether the presumed doctor is a good one.
Hello, I voted for either;
If he is such a good doctor,...he should have diagnosed the illness.
That was widely discussed so I will leave it out.
Now the second one ... I'm was looking for a context in which I could use that conditional.
I went through all the posts and I'm surprised that most people assumed that the doctor examined a patient.
What if he did not examine the patient ??
What if somebody said (discussing that case, patient , illness ) that the patient could have gone to another doctor . (.. but is too late ....)
The person could say ...
If he is such a good doctor, ...he would have diagnosed the illness.
But he did not examined the patient he did not have the opportunity to make a diagnosis.
Last edited by Jaskin; 28-Jan-2009 at 01:12.
Is this even a sentence that would ever be used?
Wow, what a strange sentence!
1.If he is such a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the illness.
2. If he is such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the illness.
I voted for the 1st sentence.
The first sentence represents for me what I call the present REAL conditional. A textbook example of it could be this sentence: If/when the sun shines, it gets hot. Both condition and result in Present Simple. Now, "should have diagnosed" does not look like Present Simple but feels (at least for me) like a good equivalent of it.
The second sentece violates the pattern of what I call the past UNREAL conditional (suggested by its second or "result" part). If the sentence in question were to conform with the pattern required by this particular conditional, it should look like this:
"If he had been such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the illness" i.e. Past Perfect in the condition and Present Perfect in the result.
I am aware that "my" presented here nomenclature of conditionals differs from that commonly taught, but agrees with me better because in contrast to the commonly accepted terminology it enables learners to make some logical associations.
Grammatical considerations apart I would like to suggest what my understanding of the first sentence is.
"He has considered himself to be a good doctor, or has been considered by other people to be a good doctor, but the fact that he has not diagnosed the illness rather puts ( brings, calls) his reputed (alleged, asserted) qualifications into question"
Last edited by JarekSteliga; 21-Jan-2012 at 17:26.
My first idea was ‘either of them are possible but with clearly different meaning’.
After having gone through all the posts, I would add ‘with a subtle difference’.
I wonder if it would be correct to put it like this:
The first part in both sentences questions the doctor’s qualification now referring to some past situation when he failed to notice the illness. With ‘should’ it has a bit more feeling (criticism, anger, sarcasm, etc) because of the modality, that is ‘he failed to do what was considered right’. ‘Would’ gives a more general background of unreal/uncertain situation and the cause for not having been able to diagnose the illness remains unknown: it might have been due to the professional carelessness, or because there was no illness at all.
What would you say?
Should is the more common form and might be more critical, but in both cases the doctor's failure to diagnose the illness casts doubt over his reputation- along the lines of JarekSteliga's interpretation.