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

Voters
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. #51
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuisi View Post
    Difficult. I chose that one because the other one refers to past time and would require 'If he were' as a condition-clause; but I would find it hard to give a reason for 'should' in the main clause, perhaps 'expectation', but I'm not really sure.
    There's something I must be doing wrong because I can't get access to the other posts in the thread before sending in mine. What's the real procedure, you read them and then you vote or just the other way round?. I say so, because maybe I'm saying things that have already been said and discussed, in that case, sorry and forgive me for being so clumsy. Thanks.
    Ok, everything sorted out. Forgive me but I'm as stupid as you can be. I had switched to 'threaded mode' and, being computerlike-illiterate (if there were such an expression) at first sight I didn't realise what difference that made. Now I know. There are other replies I gave while 'under the influence' of the threaded mode and you are likely to find ideas already discussed and commented on, so I DO BEG YOUR PARDON.

  2. #52
    joséantonio is offline Newbie
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    Smile Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    I choose would
    Am I wrong

  3. #53
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    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.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    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.

  5. #55
    Jaskin is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    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.


    Cheers .
    Last edited by Jaskin; 28-Jan-2009 at 01:12.

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Is this even a sentence that would ever be used?

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Wow, what a strange sentence!

  8. #58
    JarekSteliga is offline Member
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Any comments?

    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.

    Here's why:

    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.

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    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?

  10. #60
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Really Mixed Conditionals

    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.

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