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    #1

    If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.

    Question #: 5: The following sentence is incorrect: If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.
    User's answer: True
    Correct answer:
    False
    Additional Notes:
    Hi, teachers,

    The above is taken from testing of UsingEnglish.com, but my grammar book tells me the sentence in blue is incorrect.

    As a qualified doctor, he should have been able... There is no doubt that he is qualified, and thus the comment about his past ability to diagnose is logical.

    If he were a qualified doctor, he should have... This suggests that he is not, and implies that his lack of qualification resulted in a bad diagnosis.

    But some native English speakers told me the original sentence make sense to them. I am thoroughly confused and looking forward to your help.


    Best regards.

    LQZ



  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.

    Quote Originally Posted by LQZ View Post
    Hi, teachers,

    The above is taken from testing of UsingEnglish.com, but my grammar book tells me the sentence in blue is incorrect.

    As a qualified doctor, he should have been able... There is no doubt that he is qualified, and thus the comment about his past ability to diagnose is logical.

    If he were a qualified doctor, he should have... This suggests that he is not, and implies that his lack of qualification resulted in a bad diagnosis.

    But some native English speakers told me the original sentence make sense to them. I am thoroughly confused and looking forward to your help.


    Best regards.

    LQZ


    I agree with you LQZ, it should be "were" but you are going to find a lot of native speakers (particularly Americans) who will disagree.

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    #3

    Re: If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I agree with you LQZ, it should be "were" but you are going to find a lot of native speakers (particularly Americans) who will disagree.
    Yes, even one told me it is a mixed subjunctive. I am so happy to know I am right. Thank you so much.

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    #4

    Re: If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.

    Quote Originally Posted by LQZ View Post
    Hi, teachers,


    But some native English speakers told me the original sentence make sense to them. I am thoroughly confused and looking forward to your help.

    It makes sense to me too.

    If you use "were", you are doubting that he is a qualified doctor. If you use "is" you aren't expressing an opinion about whether he is a qualified doctor.
    How you define a "qualified doctor" in that situation, can also influence what word you choose.
    And there is the possiblity that a truly qualified doctor, for some reason, might have failed to diagnose the illness

    Finally, if I were to use "were", I probably would say 'If he were a qualified doctor, he would have been able to diagnose the illness.'
    So this is a bit of a complicated situation.

    LQZ

    2006

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