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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Born in better times

    Do we have to know if (being) or (having been) is omitted before "Born in better times"?
    If it is "being", the tense is same as that of the main clause, while "having been" is one tense prior to that of the main clause, but both of them don't seem to make sense.
    I think "being" or "having been" are not absolute tense, but relative tense affected by main clause. I need your help.

    ex)Born in better times, he could have become a great composer.
    =If he had been born in better times, he could have become a great composer

  2. #2
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    Re: Born in better times

    "If he had been" or "If he were" are understood when use of the conditional (could) is employed in the main clause.
    "Being" or "having been" cannot be used because either would remove the conditional sense of the sentence.
    "If" appears to be the only option.

  3. #3
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    Re: Born in better times

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    "If he had been" or "If he were" are understood when use of the conditional (could) is employed in the main clause.
    "Being" or "having been" cannot be used because either would remove the conditional sense of the sentence.
    "If" appears to be the only option.
    Thanks, I agree with you, but if you had a case like this, how would you say?

    " Adopted by good foster parents, the orphan could grow to be a great person"
    => If he had been adopted(or If he were adopted)
    I think either could be possible considering the orphan is still in an orphanage, and either a past adoption or a present adoption could change his future.

    I'm not contradicting your question, but I just want to prepare for the answers to my students' possible questions,

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    Re: Born in better times

    I think I made a silly question. If it refers to the past, only
    ex) Adopted by good foster parents, the orphan could have grown to be a great person.
    =(If he had been adopted by...)
    can make sense, but I was trying to think of possible combinations of present(or past)+present(or past)

  5. #5
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    Re: Born in better times

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    "... considering the orphan is still in an orphanage, and either a past adoption or a present adoption could change his future."
    As you point out in your last post, if the child is still (presently) in an orphanage, you would not begin the sentence with "If he had been".
    "If he is" and "if he were" would work, however, because it still holds out the possibility that an adoption would change his future.

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