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    #1

    Grammar Fix

    1) Is it correct to use "would have" or "would have been" for a future event, instead of will and will have been? For example:By the time you came back I would have finished. (considering the time being mentioned is in the future)

    2) Is it right to use "would have" and "would have been" for something you believe would be happening or have happened in the future or for something you believe is generally true. For example:
    Person 1: "I will see him at 5"Person 2: "If you went at 5, he would be tired"Person 1: "Why would he be tired?"Person 2: "Because he would have been exercising"Now this is a future event and Person 2 believes it will be true because it is generally true, so is it right to use "would have been" for a future event in this kind of context?

    3) Is it okay to not change the tense of reported speech if the statement being reported continues to be true?For example: She said: "We have nothing in common"She said that we had nothing in common or She said that we have nothing in common.Can both be used?

    4) Which tense is more appropriate in the following sentence:
    She was putting on an act. She was a different person than who she pretended to be the whole time I knew her or the whole time I had known her?

    I'd really appreciate a response.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by Sibx; 17-Mar-2014 at 20:26.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2
    Welcome to the forum. Sibx.

    I see that you posted part of this question in another forum just before posting it here. I expect one of our members will respond here but, in future, please don't post questions in more than one forum at the same time. It wastes the time of people who respond in one forum and then find the question has alread been answered in another.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 17-Mar-2014 at 19:33.

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    #3
    I'm a new user. I have no idea where else I posted part of this question. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon, sorry for the inconvenience.
    Last edited by Sibx; 17-Mar-2014 at 20:25.

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    #4
    Also, please send only one question per post, or at least keep a few questions related to the same issue. I'm tempted to try to help you, but do I want to take on a 20 minute commitment when others might have a better answer for one or two of your questions?

    I'll answer #4.
    "She was putting on an act. She was a different person than who she pretended to be "the whole time I knew her" or "the whole time I had known her"?"
    You can use either of those tenses here.

    PS: Question 3 is probably the second most asked question here in the last 6 months [statistics unchecked].
    You can search this site for previous posts under "reported speech".

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    #5
    Thank you for your help Raymott.
    Although, I wonder if I am to understand that it is better I start a new thread for every question?

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sibx View Post
    Thank you for your help Raymott.
    Although, I wonder if I am to understand that it is better I start a new thread for every question?
    If they are directly related to the same grammatical principle, you can ask more than one question. For example 1 and 2 are related; but 3 is not, and nor is 4.

    1. "By the time you came back I would have finished."
    You can write this is there is an extra conditional phrase.
    Person 1: "I'll help you when I get back."
    Person 2: "By the time you get back, I will have finished."
    This would be normal. Is there a condition involved?

    2. It's a similar question. In this case, "would have been exercising" is OK because it follows, "would be tired", and that is conditional on having the meeting at 5.
    So the default way to say it is with 'will', but 'would' is acceptable in the right context.

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    #7
    1. "By the time you get back, I will have finished" refers to a more certain future. I was wondering if it would be okay to say "By the time you got back I would have finished" if I thought it was a mere possibility and not a certain future event, even if there wasn't a condition involved.

    2. So "would have been" can be used for a future event if it fits the context, it is not strictly for the past?

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sibx View Post
    1. "By the time you get back, I will have finished" refers to a more certain future. I was wondering if it would be okay to say "By the time you got back I would have finished" if I thought it was a mere possibility and not a certain future event, even if there wasn't a condition involved.

    2. So "would have been" can be used for a future event if it fits the context, it is not strictly for the past?
    1. No, there seems to be something missing if a context is not given. There's nothing ungrammatical about "would have finished". I notice you've used "got back" instead of "get back". This alone takes it out of the realm of a simple indicative statement into something at least hypothetical. (I now notice that you also used the past tense in post #1). A possibility is hypothetical and reliant on conditions, even if they aren't identified. It can be seen as conditional in that wider sense.

    2. Yes. "If Grandpa had lived until next Christmas, he would have been 100 years old". (Grandpa has died, and it is not yet Christmas; this refers to the future. But it's conditional.) Note also that he would only have been 100 years old after Christmas. So, in effect it's looking forward (from now) to a time after Christmas from which one looks back to Christmas. That's the essence of the future perfect tense. Although it refers to the future, it refers to looking back to a perfected event/action from that future time.

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    #9
    1. So let's say it is a conditional in the wider sense, is it correct then to say it like that? Considering it is a future event?

    2. The example you've given is hypothetical but it is one that is no longer a possibility since Grandpa has died. My question is about things that are possible and in the future but not entirely certain, as in "would have been exercising". But I understand it is not incorrect as put in my first post?

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    #10

    Re: Grammar Fix

    Quote Originally Posted by Sibx View Post
    1. So let's say it is a conditional in the wider sense, is it correct then to say it like that? Considering it is a future event?
    Yes, that's what I've been saying all along.

    2. The example you've given is hypothetical but it is one that is no longer a possibility since Grandpa has died. My question is about things that are possible and in the future but not entirely certain, as in "would have been exercising". But I understand it is not incorrect as put in my first post?
    I've answered that in post #6, I think. Maybe someone else could offer an opinion?

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