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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    ...will be...might have been

    In a book published in the USA, I came across the following sentence:

    "If you have not thought of [...], and have not prepared, chances are the results [of the negotiation] will be less favorable for you than they might have been."

    What somewhat puzzles is the "might have been", opposed to the preceeding "will be". I--as a non-native speaker of English, of course--would use just "might be".

    Could anyone of the knowing minds here please elaborate on the above construction and its finer points--if there are any of those. I just don't get it...
    Thank you.

  2. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: ...will be...might have been

    If you have not thought of the transaction as a negotiation, and have not prepared, chances are the results will not be as beneficial for you as they might have been.
    "They might have been" is part of an understood counterfactual conditional whose "if"-clause is understood in context:

    If you have not thought of the transaction as a negotiation, and have not prepared, chances are the results will not be as beneficial for you as they might have been [if you had thought of the transaction as a negotiation and had prepared].

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: ...will be...might have been

    Thank you.
    Would that plain "might be" I mentioned above be completely off the track?

  4. VIP Member
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    #4

    Re: ...will be...might have been

    Quote Originally Posted by Avid Learner View Post
    Would that plain "might be" I mentioned above be completely off the track?
    You can replace "chances are... will be" with "might be". You can't use "might be" if you leave "chances are" in the text. They're redundant.
    I am not a teacher.

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