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    #1

    Past tense + should

    Hi!
    Consider the following sentence:

    Joe said he should visit the doctor.

    What does the aforementioned sentence mean? Does it mean that it was better for Joe to visit the doctor yesterday, but he really didn't do so? Or in other words, is it another equivalent for this sentence: Joe should have visited the doctor yesterday.
    Last edited by toloue_man; 13-Mar-2014 at 22:20.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2
    As it stands it means that yesterday Joe said he should visit the doctor.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 13-Mar-2014 at 23:04.

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    #3

    Simple form vs PP form

    I decided to change the original question a bit.

    Consider these two sentences:
    Joe said he should visit the doctor. => It means that Joe said yesterday that he should visit the doctor, but his visiting takes place in the future.
    Joe said he should have visited the doctor. => It means, though it was better for Joe to visit the doctor yesterday, he didn't do so.

    Do you agree with me?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4
    In practice , sentences rarely stand in isolation. Either the context is known to both speaker and listener, or the speaker provides it, as in:

    Joe said he should visit the doctor tomorrow.
    Joe said he should have visited the doctor yesterday. .

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    #5
    I agree with you, but for the following sentence, there is an old rule that this formula should+ have+ PP means that the action was not fulfilled though it was advised.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Joe said he should have visited the doctor yesterday.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6
    Now that the OP has edited the question and my quoting of it has been deleted, my response in post #2 makes no sense.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7
    That is a major down side of the new tendency to delete quotes from posts. I am not sure that I get this. Are we running out of pixels?

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    #8
    There are three points here:

    1. There is no tendency to delete posts arbitrarily. What some of us have been trying to do is cut out some of the unnecessary quotation that has been recently making some threads unwieldy. As this post immediately follows yours, It would be pointless for me to quote yours. If, while I am writing this, another post intervenes, I will simply add ''@ MikeNewYork' to the start of this one to make it clear that I am addressing you. If several posts had intervened before I started writing this, then I would have quoted yours to make it clear which one I was responding to.

    2. We do ask members not to edit posts after they have received a response, precisely because they can make the response meaningless.

    3. In this particular case, the deletion of the quote after tolue-man had edited his post was unfortunate. In my opinion, the pruning of some posts has generally been beneficial to the flow of threads.

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Now that the OP has edited the question and my quoting of it has been deleted, my response in post #2 makes no sense.
    I just removed the adverb "yesterday" from my first post, but the main verb is still in the past sense. Is there a major difference between these two sentences:

    Joe said he should visit the doctor.
    Joe said he should visit the doctor yesterday.

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    #10
    Fair enough.

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