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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    An American would have commented

    This is a conditional example in my grammar book, and the answer is "If he were an American" instead of "If he had been an American". I think it's because it's referring to a general person regardless of tense, but doesn't "If he had been an American" work here as well? I'm not sure.
    When you say a shorted conditional like this, does the subject(an American) refer to an imaginary replacement of the previous person(a native) or a general person?

    Q : Chage the underlined in the following structure.
    A: If she/he were an American, she/he would have commented,
    ex)An American student tells the story of how he was surprised when he was in a foreign country. He said to a native, "I don't speak your language very well." The native replied, "I should say you don't", An American would have commented, "Well, you have only been here two months," or "But you are making progress."

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    Re: An American would have commented

    I think that the natural form here is "If she had been an American". You can make out a case for "If she were an American", but it is artificial, in my opinion. We are interested in the native speaker at the time, past, not in general.

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