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  1. #1
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    They would have been married forty years come this June.

    Hello,

    A. They would have been married forty years come this June.
    (from Oxford advanced Learner's Dictionary)

    B. They have been married forty years come this June. (would removed)

    1. Why is the subjunctive mood used in A.? Is their relationship in danger?
    2. In what way is B. different from A.? I suppose B. can convey enough meaning.
    What is the inconvenience of not using 'would'?

    Thank you
    Last edited by Soseki; 14-Sep-2017 at 11:49.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    In the first, they have either separated or one has died.

  3. #3
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In the first, they have either separated or one has died.
    If their marriage had continued, they would have been ...
    Last edited by Soseki; 12-Sep-2017 at 13:07.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    If they would have been married for forty years come June, something has happened and they are no longer married (without further context), so separation, divorce or death seem the most likely impediments.

  5. #5
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    They would have been married for forty years come June if they had not divorced/if the fatal accident had not happened.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    If they would have been married for forty years come June, something has happened and they are no longer married (without further context), so separation, divorce or death seem the most likely impediments.
    Is what is certain from this sentece that they haven't reached forty years of marriage?

  7. #7
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    Yes, that is certain. Their fortieth anniversary was due to happen in the next June that was due to happen when the speaker/writer used the sentence. The word "come" puts the whole thing in the future.

    If the sentence had been written as it is, with "come this June" in Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2017, it would apply to June 2017 so definitely in the future. However, we also know that the anniversary will not happen (due to death, separation or divorce).

    Now, in September 2017, if it said "They would have been married forty years this June", (note that I have not used "come" there) I would take it to mean that it would have been their fortieth anniversary in June 2017 but, for some reason, that anniversary did not happen. As you have already been told, the possible reasons for that are death, separation and divorce.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soseki View Post
    1. Why is the subjunctive mood used in A.?
    The past subjunctive is used in 'If they were not divorced, they would have been married for forty years come this June.'
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #9
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    B. They have been married forty years come this June.
    This is an impossible mixing of past and future. Since June hasn't come yet, then they can't be said to "have been." They will be married forty years this June. Or "will have been married."

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: They would have been married forty years come this June.

    I am sorry, but I missed that and kept to the first sentence. In BrE, will have been married strikes me as the first choice.

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