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  1. #1
    kite is offline Member
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    Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades....

    Hi teachers,
    I have picked up a sentence from an English newspaper; "Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades.....". Here I have some problem with understanding the meaning. I think the sentence means that many of them had not got the privilege, am I right? And I think we can also rewrite the sentence as "Many of us could have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...." because that is what I have learned about conditionals.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    Hi teachers,
    I have picked up a sentence from an English newspaper; "Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades.....". Here I have some problem with understanding the meaning. I think the sentence means that many of them had not got the privilege, am I right? And I think we can also rewrite the sentence as "Many of us could have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...." because that is what I have learned about conditionals.

    Thanks.
    No, it isn't trying to say that many didn't have the privilege.
    The meaning depends on whether that is the full sentence. Your dots, I think, tend to imply that it's not. "would have had" could mean something completely different if there's an 'if' clause following.
    Assuming that the sentence is complete, it means that the speaker isn't absolutely sure that many had the privilege (he has no proof), but he considers it likely.

  3. #3
    kite is offline Member
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    Re: Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...

    Thank you. Here is the full sentence "Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades he has diligently served the nation in this sphere." There is no "if" clause. How about now? Was I correct?

  4. #4
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    Re: Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    Thank you. Here is the full sentence "Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades he has diligently served the nation in this sphere." There is no "if" clause. How about now? Was I correct?
    Yes, it's not a conditional. It means that the speaker isn't absolutely sure that many had the privilege (he has no proof), but he considers it likely - he believes unconditionally that they probably did have the privilege.

  5. #5
    kite is offline Member
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    Re: Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...

    If this sentence is not a conditional, what kind of sentence is this? I have met this "would have + past participle" only with conditionals(3rd).

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...

    To be a conditional, there needs to be an if clause (real or implied). If there's no condition, it's not conditional.

  7. #7
    kite is offline Member
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    Re: Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...

    I know it. Then please tell me in what type of situation we can use that phrase "would have had/known/done".

  8. #8
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    Re: Many of us would have had the privilege of working with him during the decades...

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    If this sentence is not a conditional, what kind of sentence is this? I have met this "would have + past participle" only with conditionals(3rd).
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    You may find this helpful:
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...articiple.html
    I learn something almost every day on this site.

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