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    #1

    if-clause (2)

    If he went there, he must be dead.
    If he went there, he must have been dead.
    If he went there, he might have been dead.

    I think above three sentences are all correct, and they are not subjunctive mood.

    If he had gone there, he would have been dead.
    If he had gone there, he must have been dead.
    If he had gone there, he might have been dead.

    I think above two sentences are all correct, and they are subjunctive mood.

    Am I right? Is there any grammatical error?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: if-clause (2)

    Quote Originally Posted by koolade View Post
    If he went there, he must be dead.
    If he went there, he must have been dead.
    If he went there, he might have been dead.

    I think above three sentences are all correct, and they are not subjunctive mood.
    The first one says that his death is certain, as a result of his going there. Perhaps "there" is a mine that collapsed.

    The second one only makes sense if you're talking about some mythological place inhabited by dead people. If Percy went to Hades, he must have been dead. (Actually, in the story I'm thinking of, he found a secret way to enter the land of the dead while still alive. Getting out again was harder.)

    The third one only makes sense if there is a chance he was dead, but that he is no longer dead, AND he visited the place inhabited by the dead. In the right mythology it's possible. But it's not suitable for a normal conversation about the world as we know it.
    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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    #3

    Re: if-clause (2)

    Quote Originally Posted by koolade View Post
    (1)If he went there, he must be dead.
    (2)If he went there, he must have been dead.
    (3)If he went there, he might have been dead.

    I think above three sentences are all correct, and they are not subjunctive mood.

    (4)If he had gone there, he would have been dead.
    (5)If he had gone there, he must have been dead.
    (6)If he had gone there, he might have been dead.

    I think above two sentences are all correct, and they are subjunctive mood.

    Am I right? Is there any grammatical error?
    Actually, none of the six sentences make sense, especially with the word "dead". If you would, for example, substitute the word "happy" for "dead", all are OK except #5 and #3 is questionable.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: if-clause (2)

    If he went there, he must be dead.

    One possible meaning of this can be seen here:

    1. A: John went to the refinery just before the explosions.
    B: If he went there, he must be dea
    d (now).

    B is saying something like 'in that case, he must be dead now'. There is no subjunctive form in that sentence.

    The next examples are similar:

    2. A: I don't know where John went. Perhaps he went to the mortuary in that ambulance we saw.
    Bi: If he went there, he must have been dead at the time.
    Bi.:If he went there, he might have been dead at the time.


    Both of B's responses seem to be to be rather unnatural, especially the second. Once again there is no subjunctive.

    3a. If he had gone there, he would have been dead (by now).
    3b. If he had gone there, he must have been dead.
    3c. If he had gone there, he might have been dead (by now).


    #3a and #c are third conditional sentences. The speaker is presenting a counterfactual, potentially fatal, situation. 'He' did not go there.
    I cannot think of a situation in which one could say the words in #3b.

    In #3a and #c, some would argue that 'had gone' is in the subjunctive mood. As this form is identical to the indicative, I see little point in this.

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    #5

    Re: if-clause (2)

    Thank all of you.
    your answers are very helpful.

    Words out of context mean nothing. --> I'll keep that in mind.

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