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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default a good school would have organized

    1. Can I paraphrase "a good school.." to "It it had been a good school, it would have organized..."?
    And if it is right, does "it" represent the writer's school or any other school in the past?

    gu128) When I went to school, none of my teachers ever talked to me about what kind of work I'd like to do in the future. In fact, there was never a discusson about possible careers during all the years that I was at school. Since one of the main objects of going to school is to prepare for adult life, a good school would have organized lectures or discusson intended to give students a broad view of different occupations. Of course some students might follow their parents' careers, but even these students would have benefited from the chance to learn about other kinds of job opportunities.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: a good school would have organized

    I think you have hit upon the reason your paraphasing is not as good as the author's choice of words. As the author wrote it, the passage works whether its author attended one school or more than one. Your paraphrase, in addition to being longer and more cumbersome than the original, seems to contain the implicit assumption that only one school is being characterised as less than good.
    Last edited by probus; 19-Feb-2013 at 20:34. Reason: fix typos

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: a good school would have organized

    Yes, that's what I thought. It doesn't have to be his school that results in a counterfactual conditional. It could be any school, so the utterance is about past presumption, I guess.
    I worried too much about a similar example, which was like this. My grammar book paraphrased the underlined to "If he(the native speaker) were an American, he wouldn't have said so", but wouldn't it be "Any American in that situation wouldn't have said so"?

    ex)I(an American) stayed in a foreign country, and couldn't speak the native language well. One day, a native speaker teased me by saying my language(for example, Japanese) was poor. An American wouldn't have said so.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: a good school would have organized

    Sounds right to me. My knowledge of grammar does not extend to such rarefied heights as counterfactual conditionals. An American wouldn't have said so sounds perfect.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: a good school would have organized

    I'm sorry I still wonder if the underlined means "It it had been a good school, it would have organized"(counterfactual conditional) or "A good school would have organized lectures ..(past presumption). Or does it just depend on viewers' interpretations? It probably depends on context, but my workbook and other grammar books are saying in "subject+would have pp" structure, "subject" can be a shortened form of counterfactual conditional.

    gu128) When I went to school, none of my teachers ever talked to me about what kind of work I'd like to do in the future. In fact, there was never a discusson about possible careers during all the years that I was at school. Since one of the main objects of going to school is to prepare for adult life, a good school would have organized lectures or discusson intended to give students a broad view of different occupations. Of course some students might follow their parents' careers, but even these students would have benefited from the chance to learn about other kinds of job opportunities.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: a good school would have organized

    By saying what "a good school" would have done, you are implicitly saying that the actual facts were different. I don't see any semantic difference between stating it as a conditional or simply stating it as it originally was. Except to make it longer and more cumbersome.

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