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    #1

    Might have become

    Would you please take a look at my sentences and correct my mistakes?

    1. He might have become a great painter but for his severe illness.
    2. She may have won the contest had she trained better.

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Might have become

    I would use 'might' instead of 'may' in #2, but I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Might have become

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    2. She may have won the contest had she trained better.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    I believe that you should have used "might" in #2.

    Here is what one scholar says:

    "Might have happened could have happened but didn't, may have happened could have happened but we don't know yet."

    In other words, she might have won but didn't.

    The scholar quotes a BBC reporter who said, "She may have survived if she had not combined [a name of an illegal drug] with drinking large quantities of water." But the reporter had already told the audience that she had NOT survived. Thus, the reporter should have used "might."


    Source: John Honey, Language is Power (1997).
    Last edited by TheParser; 18-Jun-2015 at 15:36.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Might have become

    I think it will also be correct if 'if it weren't for' is used instead of 'but for' in #1, but I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Might have become

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I think it will also be correct if 'if it weren't for' is used instead of 'but for' in #1, but I am not a teacher.
    You could also say "if not for"
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: Might have become

    tedmc,
    I am wondering if my version with "but for his severe illness" is also correct.

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    #7

    Re: Might have become

    Yes, there are different ways of saying it.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Might have become

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    may have happened could have happened but we don't know yet.
    I think the following is an example, but I am not a teacher.
    'He may have arrived home by now.'

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