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    #1

    tense problem

    What did his support mean to you?
    It really mattered, because I was devastated. I felt that I had let down the president; I possibly thought I might have wrecked the whole Peace Corps idea, and I let down my friends in the group and actually put them in some jeopardy. Id been through quite a lot of stuff. So for him to say were strongly behind you was just amazing.



    Hi.
    From the article above, I don't figure why "have" is there. It doesn't make it easy for me. Can't I just say "I possibly thought I might wreck the whole Peace Corps idea" ? What is the purpose of it? Could you just not explain just that sentence but explain the whole grammar related to it? Thank you very much. I really appreciate your helps in advance.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tense problem

    Quote Originally Posted by layla0302 View Post
    What did his support mean to you?
    It really mattered, because I was devastated. I felt that I had let down the president; I possibly thought I might have wrecked the whole Peace Corps idea, and I let down my friends in the group and actually put them in some jeopardy. I’d been through quite a lot of stuff. So for him to say “we’re strongly behind you” was just amazing.




    Hi.
    From the article above, I don't figure why "have" is there. It doesn't make it easy for me. Can't I just say "I possibly thought I might wreck the whole Peace Corps idea" ? What is the purpose of it? Could you just not explain just that sentence but explain the whole grammar related to it? Thank you very much. I really appreciate your helps in advance.
    His action is in the past. The verb "might wreck" is present tense, but because of of the modal verb "might", it has future implications. The verb "might have wrecked" has past implications.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: tense problem

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The verb "might wreck" is present tense
    'Might wreck' is not present tense.

    The modal might can express a present or future possibility:

    I am not sure where Jean is this week. She might be in Moscow. - it is possible that she is in Moscow.
    I might go to the States next year.
    - It is possible that I will go to the States next year.

    'Might have' + third form (past participle') expresses a possibility in the past:

    I might have wrecked - It was possible that I had wrecked

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: tense problem

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    'Might wreck' is not present tense.

    The modal might can express a present or future possibility:

    I am not sure where Jean is this week. She might be in Moscow. - it is possible that she is in Moscow.
    I might go to the States next year.
    - It is possible that I will go to the States next year.

    'Might have' + third form (past participle') expresses a possibility in the past:

    I might have wrecked - It was possible that I had wrecked
    I understand that there is modal verb, but the "might wreck" refers to a present action that has future implications. At least that is how I understand it.

    If I show up, I might wreck the wedding. Present action -- future implication.
    If I showed up, I might have wrecked the wedding. Past action -- past implication.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: tense problem

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I understand that there is modal verb, but the "might wreck" refers to a present action that has future implications.
    The possibility could be present time, as in my example:

    I am not sure where Jean is this week. She might be in Moscow. - it is possible that she is in Moscow.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: tense problem

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The possibility could be present time, as in my example:

    I am not sure where Jean is this week. She might be in Moscow. - it is possible that she is in Moscow.
    I agree, but in the posted question, the implication is in the future. It has nothing to do with where he is, it has everything to do with the consequences of his present action.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: tense problem

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I agree, but in the posted question, the implication is in the future. It has nothing to do with where he is, it has everything to do with the consequences of his present action.
    Which question are you talking about?

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    #8

    Re: tense problem

    I might wreck vs. I might have wrecked.

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: tense problem

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I might wreck vs. I might have wrecked.
    OK.

    I thought I might wreck (at some later time) ...
    (I thought I might have wrcked (at some earlier time) ...


    I agree with that. I was confused because you wrote:
    The verb "might wreck" is present tense,
    which it isn't,
    but because of of the modal verb "might", it has future implications.
    Actually, 'might' can have present or future implications, as I noted in an earlier post. It's the fact that 'wreck' is a dynamic verb in a non-progressive aspect that results in the future implications; compare:

    I thought I might be wrecking (at that time) ...

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