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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Why "whould have paid"?

    Why would have paid and not would pay (for a repeated action in the past) is used in the following passage:
    <...>The term used for both types of settlement in medieval documents is the
    vill, which does not specifically denote a village, although it could often be coterminous with one, but a unit comprising households and their associated landholdings. Inhabitants of both types of settlement would have paid rents and often owed labour dues to their landlords. <...>
    ?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why "whould have paid"?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Why would have paid and not would pay (for a repeated action in the past) is used in the following passage:
    <...>The term used for both types of settlement in medieval documents is the
    vill, which does not specifically denote a village, although it could often be coterminous with one, but a unit comprising households and their associated landholdings. Inhabitants of both types of settlement would have paid rents and often owed labour dues to their landlords. <...>
    ?
    Why not?

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Why "whould have paid"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Why not?
    Because in many grammar books I read it is stated that you can only use would have done something when talking about imaginary past actions, not real ones, when talking about something that DID NOT happen. But in the example there is historical information, actions which actually often happened in the past, not imaginary ones - the people DID pay rents, to rephrase it - they USED TO pay rents, so why was the third conditional used and not just would plus infinitive to speak about a repeated action in the past?

    Here's a typical example of grammar explanations I read in all grammar books I have seen so far:

    If I would have done something vs If I had done something - e Learn English Language

    Do you mean to say that would have paid = would pay = used to pay in this context?
    Inhabitants of both types of settlement would have paid rents and often owed labour dues to their landlords.
    Last edited by englishhobby; 21-Dec-2013 at 22:08.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why "whould have paid"?

    I am beginning to understand - the historical facts described in my example are not facts proper but "historical suggestions"? In this way uncertainty is expressed, so we could rephrase the sentence in question as follows:
    Perhaps, inhabitants of both types of settlement paid rents and often owed labour dues to their landlords.
    Am I right?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 21-Dec-2013 at 22:21.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Why "whould have paid"?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Do you mean to say that would have paid = would pay = used to pay in this context?
    Inhabitants of both types of settlement would have paid rents and often owed labour dues to their landlords.
    Yes.

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