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  1. #1
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.

    Hello,

    Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.
    (from https://www.englishclub.com/esl-game...uld-have-2.htm)

    1. Does the sentence mean the following A and B, for example?
    A. Andrew wouldn't have been bald if he had received some treatment from a doctor on his hair when he was younger.
    B. Andrew wouldn't have been bald if he had eaten some particular kinds of food when he was younger.

    2. In what way will the meaning of the sentence change if the comparative ‘younger’ is replaced with the positive class ‘young’?

    Thank you
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 13-Sep-2017 at 21:22. Reason: Standardised font across the post

  2. #2
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Neither of your suggestions is likely without more context.

    I would take the sentence to mean that the speaker is asserting the unlikeliness of Andrew's baldness when he was young/younger.
    Did he have a narrow escape from his baldness? Or is he never one for baldness?

  3. #3
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I would take the sentence to mean that the speaker is asserting the unlikeliness of Andrew's baldness when he was young/younger.
    In the first place, I took the sentence to mean that Andrew was bald.

    Is my speculation in #1 wrong, which says Andrew was bald?

  4. #4
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soseki View Post
    Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.
    Doesn't this sentence mean the following?

    Andrew may not have been bald when he was younger. or
    Andrew might not have been bald when he was younger.

    I suppose the sentence is not a conditional one as I previously thought.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Re: Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.

    The sentences with "may not have been" and "might not have been" mean the same as each other but they don't mean the same as "wouldn't have been".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post

    I would take the sentence to mean that the speaker is asserting the unlikeliness of Andrew's baldness when he was young/younger.
    Where does the unlikeliness of baldness come from?
    The unlikeliness of baldness suggests there is room for some degree of possibility of his being bald.
    Is the original sentence ambiguous?

  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Andrew wouldn't have been bald when he was younger.

    Maybe he's older and has recently started losing his hair, so he would have been hirsute when young.

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