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    #1

    "would have caught"

    Dear all,

    In this sentence:

    "For UK it’s now home to the world’s largest Nigerian overseas community and the ancestors of many of today’s residents would have caught their first glimpse of the country as they approached these docks"

    I can't get the meaning of the highlighted part grammatically. I get that "residents" refers to "Nigerian residents" and "docks" refers to "Liverpool ports"

    Thanks,

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    #2

    Re: "would have caught"

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Gil
    Excuse me, what does it mean to "first see" it. I get get what does that mean?
    Some Nigerian came to settle in the UK. Does he really wants to say that "when their ancestors come to visit, they first see the dock"? I totally can't get. Still "would have" refer to some imaginary situation or what?

    Thanks a lot.

  1. ScarlettBegoni's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "would have caught"

    I'm not a teacher.

    I think that "would have caught their first glimpse" refers to the past. "would catch" refers to the present or future.
    It's similar to "should".
    You should go home. -> I want to advise you going home.
    I should have gone home. -> You know that it was the best possibility, but you didn't go home. It's too late to change it, it's the present time.
    If I'm wrong, please, correct me

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    #4

    Re: "would have caught"

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    "For UK it’s now home to the world’s largest Nigerian overseas community and the ancestors of many of today’s residents would have caught their first glimpse of the country as they approached these docks"

    When the ancestors came to the UK they had not seen the docks before. The first time they saw (past tense here) the docks was when they came close to the docks. Think back to when you were a young child. You were taken on a trip to the river. On the river there were some wooden things floating. Someone told you that those wooden things were called boats. This was the first time that you would had seen a boat. Two months later you went to the river again and saw some boats - this was the second time that you would had seen boats.
    "would had"? I thought it always should be followed by infinitive.

  2. ScarlettBegoni's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "would have caught"

    Not a teacher.
    Would + infinitive without TO ->present
    Would + present perfect ->past

    If I'm wrong, correct me.

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    #6

    Re: "would have caught"

    Part of your confusion may be ancestors. Your ancestors don't come to visit. They are long dead. They are many generations ago. Living relatives are not referred to as ancestors.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: "would have caught"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Part of your confusion may be ancestors. Your ancestors don't come to visit. They are long dead. They are many generations ago. Living relatives are not referred to as ancestors.
    I understand that but there is something missing. I still can't get the meaning.
    I appreciate your reply, though.

    Thanks.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "would have caught"

    It's just a phrasal verb that you haven't met before - 'catch a glimpse'. The author uses 'would have caught' rather then just 'caught' because s/he is unsure; maybe they were looking seawards; maybe they were blind; maybe they were in a cabin without a port-hole... It's a supposition. But if they had been looking, they would have caught their first glimpse...

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 04-Jul-2011 at 12:38. Reason: Added last two sentences

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    #9

    Re: "would have caught"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    It's just a phrasal verb that you haven't met before - 'catch a glimpse'. The author uses 'would have caught' rather then just 'caught' because s/he is unsure; maybe they were looking seawards; maybe they were blind; maybe they were in a cabin without a port-hole... It's a supposition. But if they had been looking, they would have caught their first glimpse...

    b
    "or if they had still alive, they would have....." right?

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    #10

    Re: "would have caught"

    Quote Originally Posted by maiabulela View Post
    "or if they had still alive, they would have....." right?
    No, the ancestors of today's residents WERE alive when they arrived in the harbor. It's where they would have seen England's shore for the first time, if they were looking in the right direction at the right time.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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