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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    hesitant to apply to university

    Which is the anwer? Is it a,or c or d? Do you think "would not have been" refers to only the past, not the present perfect as well? If it refers to present perfect as well, the answer could be "is" or "has been", but I'm not sure.

    Q. Jim _____ hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition.
    a)is
    b)will be
    c)had been
    d)has been

  2. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    The answer is C - had been. (<- would not have been)

    a) Jim is hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to afford the tuition.
    b) Jim will be hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family cannot afford the tuition.
    c) Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition.
    d) Jim has been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to (cannot) afford the tuition.

    Although I'd say:
    Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not be able to afford the tuition.
    Last edited by Bennevis; 16-Dec-2011 at 17:04. Reason: not will but would for C

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Which is the anwer? Is it a,or c or d? Do you think "would not have been" refers to only the past, not the present perfect as well? If it refers to present perfect as well, the answer could be "is" or "has been", but I'm not sure.

    Q. Jim _____ hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition.
    a)is
    b)will be
    c)had been
    d)has been
    It's a poor test question. Whichever option you choose gives a very unsatisfactory sentence.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    The answer is C - had been. (<- would not have been)

    a) Jim is hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to afford the tuition [if he does] OR (would not be able to .. if he did)
    b) Jim will be hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family cannot afford the tuition. (will not be able to ... [if he does apply in the future])
    c) Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not have been able to afford the tuition. (would not have been able to ... [if he had applied])
    This is sentence C, the answer that we agree is correct (with "would not")
    d) Jim has been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to (cannot) afford the tuition. (would not have been able to...)

    Although I'd say:
    Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not be able to afford the tuition.
    I agree with C, but some of your sentences don't sound natural to me, as indicated.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It's a poor test question. Whichever option you choose gives a very unsatisfactory sentence.
    I agree, it's a poor question. But what is very unsatisfactory about C?
    "Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition. [But now that his uncle has died and left him a fortune, he has no such worries.]"
    OR
    "Jim's uncle died and left him a fortune. Before this, Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition."

  6. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I agree with C, but some of your sentences don't sound natural to me, as indicated.
    Yes, it was just a misprint. But what about the rest (a, b, d)? What is so unnatural about them?

    a) Jim is hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to afford the tuition.

    b) Jim will be hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family cannot afford the tuition. (his family doesn't have enough money) will not be able

    d) Jim has been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to (cannot) afford the tuition. (he is still hesitating because he doesn't believe his family will have enough money to fund his tuition after his classes begin)

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I agree, it's a poor question. But what is very unsatisfactory about C?
    "Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition. [But now that his uncle has died and left him a fortune, he has no such worries.]"
    OR
    "Jim's uncle died and left him a fortune. Before this, Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition."
    "Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition."
    It seems clunky to me, I'd much prefer "thinking his family would not be able to afford the tuition".

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    Yes, it was just a misprint. But what about the rest (a, b, d)? What is so unnatural about them?
    The alternatives I've given were meant to ilustrate why there were better alternatives. They probably failed because I'm not sure why they don't sound unnatural. I only know they do.
    I'll give it another shot.

    a) Jim is hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to afford the tuition.
    Jim has not applied yet. Therefore "would not be" is more appropriate than "will not be".
    "Will not be " works for "Jim is sorry he applied, thinking that his family will not be able to pay if he is accepted." Note that "if he is accepted" makes a big difference"

    "If he does apply, his family will not be able to pay"; "If he did apply, his family would not be able to pay."

    b) Jim will be hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family cannot afford the tuition. (his family doesn't have enough money) will not be able

    d) Jim has been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family will not be able to (cannot) afford the tuition. (he is still hesitating because he doesn't believe his family will have enough money to fund his tuition after his classes begin)
    The objection is simlar to a). It would be natural to say, "Jim has been sorry ever since he applied to university, knowing that his family will not be able to pay if he is accepted".
    Maybe changing "thinking" to "knowing" even makes a difference.
    Whether they can afford it (or will be able to afford it) is only relevant after Jim has applied and is accepted. Before that, his concerns are about whether they could afford it (or would be able to afford it) if he applied and was accepted.

    I'm not (necessarily) saying your sentences are wrong. They just sound unnatural. Perhaps it's an indicative/subjunctive preference - (me for the latter). In this case, I'd prefer "would/could/would be able to" over "will/can/are able to - at least until it's become clear whether he is going to be accepted)

    The question is certainly not appropriate for students. Even C, a grammatically correct answer, sounds unnatural without a surrounding context.

  9. keannu's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I agree, it's a poor question. But what is very unsatisfactory about C?
    "Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition. [But now that his uncle has died and left him a fortune, he has no such worries.]"
    OR
    "Jim's uncle died and left him a fortune. Before this, Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition."
    The answers were all complicated and confusing to me(it's my understanding problem sorry, never your fault), but I'm greatly grateful for your endeavors.

    But this " would not have been " in the form of "would+have+pp" is uncler to me. When you say "would+have+pp", I think there's two indications like presumption for "past perfect" and relative counterfactual past. Whatever it is, did it mean his family's inablity to pay the tuition before "his being hesitant"?
    I mean if he had been hesitant until December 2010, he probably thought of his family's inability until before December 2010, not after December 2010 = after applying.
    "would have pp" comes to me as a relative past event. I need your kind answer.

  10. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: hesitant to apply to university

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    The answers were all complicated and confusing to me(it's my understanding problem sorry, never your fault), but I'm greatly grateful for your endeavors.

    But this " would not have been " in the form of "would+have+pp" is unclear to me. When you say "would+have+pp", I think there's two indications like presumption for "past perfect" and relative counterfactual past. Whatever it is, did it mean his family's inablity to pay the tuition before "his being hesitant"?
    There seem to me to be two reasons for your confusion:
    1. As has been pointed out, this is not a good test question. None of the answers is completely natural.
    2. You are, as usual, trying to fit a 'would' construction into one or two categories.

    Here is the original: Jim _____ hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition.

    For me, the 'his family would not have been able to afford ...' implies 'if he had applied ...', which further implies 'he did not apply.'. However, it seems a little odd to talk about being hesitant to apply when we know he did not apply.

    Like bhaisahab and Bennevis, I think that the most natural would be: Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not be able to afford the tuition, although even with this, we have to imagine a context to justify the past perfect 'had been'.

    Raymott has shown how Jim had been hesitant to apply to university, thinking his family would not have been able to afford the tuition could be accepable, although he had to come up with a context for this.

    It is not worth worrying about the thinking behind a question like this. You will simply not be able to come up with a 100% satisfactory answer to your confusion, because you are trying to understand a less than natural construction.

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