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  1. #1
    EnglishLearner007 is offline Newbie
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    Usage of 'have been'

    Consider the sentence and underlined words:

    After I completed my Masters degree, I noticed that the solutions that I provided were much better than they might [have been otherwise / have otherwise been].

    1. Which is correct as per grammar? I guess the latter.
    2. As a native speaker, does one sound unnatural than the other? Would you, the native speaker, be perfectly fine if one used the former in day-to-day conversation.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    I'd say might otherwise have been. It still wouldn't be a very natural sentence but that's less unnatural than the other choices.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    What do you mean by "otherwise"?

  4. #4
    EnglishLearner007 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    What do you mean by "otherwise"?
    Without a masters degree.

  5. #5
    EnglishLearner007 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I'd say might otherwise have been. It still wouldn't be a very natural sentence but that's less unnatural than the other choices.
    @GoesStation: How would you speak the sentence?
    Last edited by EnglishLearner007; 17-Mar-2017 at 15:57.

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishLearner007 View Post
    @GoesStation: How would you speak the sentence?
    I think you mean to ask how I would express the idea. Unfortunately I'm not sure what your sentence is supposed to mean. Do you mean that gaining a masters degree gave you skills that helped you provide much better solutions than you could have provided before?
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    EnglishLearner007 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Do you mean that gaining a masters degree gave you skills that helped you provide much better solutions than you could have provided before?
    Yes, exactly. Keeping the structure more or less the same, how would you have expressed this sentence?

  8. #8
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    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    I think that considering what you mean to say, where otherwise is standing in for something like 'if I hadn't completed my Master's degree', then the former, with otherwise at the end of the sentence, is a little clearer and tidier since it appears in the same logical position as the implied clause it's substituting.

    It's still not very clear what you actually mean, though -- what exactly the implied clause is. I think your meaning will come through better if you begin in a different way. Here's my suggestion:

    Having completed my Master's degree, the solutions I provided seemed much better than they might have been otherwise.

    Of course, to some extent the intended meaning comes from how you say the utterance as well as the form it takes.

  9. #9
    vishalgupta is offline Newbie
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    Red face Re: Usage of 'have been'

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishLearner007 View Post
    Consider the sentence and underlined words:

    After I completed my Masters degree, I noticed that the solutions that I provided were much better than they might [have been otherwise / have otherwise been].

    1. Which is correct as per grammar? I guess the latter.
    2. As a native speaker, does one sound unnatural than the other? Would you, the native speaker, be perfectly fine if one used the former in day-to-day conversation.
    I think there is no need of otherwise here when you are using the phrase better than. The word otherwise seems to be superfluous here. And if we have to use the same phrase, the correct version may be - they might otherwise have been.

  10. #10
    blairmn23 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Usage of 'have been'

    I am not quite sure about it.

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