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    #1

    They would have learned --III conditional?

    “They would have learned an awful lot from that, and a lot of it would have been relevant to a program like this,” said Richard L. Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, Va. New York Times (subscription, not free)
    Dear all,

    I often have trouble with conditionals. While reading the above, I wonder whether the bold part is a III conditional and a conditional clause (if they had got the damaged helicopter) is understood. Could you please explain to me? Thanks.


    LQZ

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    #2

    Re: They would have learned --III conditional?

    =Not a Teacher=

    It seems not to be a third conditional. "They would have learned" means something like "I am fairly certain that they learned".

    Here is a similar example:

    I don't know where my parents got married, but they were practising Christians at the time, so it would have been in church.

  1. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: They would have learned --III conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by LQZ View Post
    Dear all,

    I often have trouble with conditionals. While reading the above, I wonder whether the bold part is a III conditional and a conditional clause (if they had got the damaged helicopter) is understood. Could you please explain to me? Thanks.


    LQZ
    Reading the larger context in the article you linked, it's clear that the speaker is making a hypothetical statement. The helicopter was developed in complete secrecy and appears to be using technology proposed in a scrapped project. Since the speaker has no access to the knowledge of what actually happened (he wasn't there, the information is classified, he has no access to the relevant information), he is hypothesizing that the people developing this technology learned a lot from the canceled project and that much from the canceled project was relevant to the development of this helicopter.

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