Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #1

    would + perfect infinitive

    Hello,

    Doing a gap-fill exercise and checking my answers with the key, I found out I got one wrong but I fail to understand why. Could somebody please take the trouble to tell me what is wrong with it?

    During the Stone Age or Mesolithic Period men and women led an active social and spiritual life. Large encampments, where up to 200 people may have lived, have recently come to light in several parts of Europe, in addition to the remains of communal tombs and temples. Making stone tools would probably have been regarded as a communal activity, in which even children used to participate.

    My answer was 'could'. Is it wrong just because the word 'probably' already indicates probability, and the usage of 'could' would create redundancy?

    Thank you.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: would + perfect infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    My answer was 'could'. Is it wrong just because the word 'probably' already indicates probability, and the usage of 'could' would create redundancy?
    Yes, but I am fairly sure that some native speakers would happily use 'could' there.

    I almost wrote 'might' in place of the underlined 'would', and then remembered that I had previously written 'fairly sure'. Being fairly sure that people might do something does not really work. In conversation, such slips would pass unnoticed.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 994
    #3

    Re: would + perfect infinitive

    Thanks! That's a CPE gap-fill exercise, so any mistakes are a luxury I can't afford :) Anyway, I never thought about that before; I'll be more careful now. Thanks again!

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: would + perfect infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Thanks! That's a CPE gap-fill exercise, so any mistakes are a luxury I can't afford :) Anyway, I never thought about that before; I'll be more careful now. Thanks again!
    I loathe most gap-fill exercises. They put the learner in the unenviable position of trying to think what somebody else might be thinking if they (the somebody else) were to make the utterance. Normally we use language to express what we are thinking.

    Quite frequently, some 'incorrect' answers would not be noticed by many native speakers, and some native speakers would themselves give incorrect answers.

    However, that is no consolation if you have to do this. You have my sympathy.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] want to + perfect infinitive
    By Kotfor in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 21-Mar-2011, 23:59
  2. can+perfect infinitive
    By ostap77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Nov-2010, 17:21
  3. [Grammar] Perfect Infinitive confusion
    By wasurera in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2009, 06:09
  4. [General] Perfect Continuous Infinitive
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2009, 18:36
  5. perfect infinitive
    By michal in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-May-2007, 11:07

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •