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    #1

    It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.

    Hello, I made up two sentences and gave my own understanding as below. I’d appreciated it if you could point out any mistakes I’ve made.
    1) It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.
    Tom wasn’t having a meeting at 7 o’clock, but he was going to have a meeting soon.

    2) It was 7 o'clock. Tom should have been having a meeting.
    a. The speaker refers to a possible situation that Tom was having a meeting at 7 o’clock.
    b. The speaker feels annoyed that Tom wasn’t having a meeting at 7 o’clock.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.

    Quote Originally Posted by lagoo View Post
    Hello, I made up two sentences and gave my own understanding as below. I’d appreciated appreciate it if you could point out any mistakes I’ve made.

    1) It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.
    Tom wasn’t having a meeting at 7 o’clock, but he was going to have a meeting soon.

    2) It was 7 o'clock. Tom should have been having a meeting.
    a. The speaker refers to a possible situation that Tom was having a meeting at 7 o’clock.
    b. The speaker feels annoyed that Tom wasn’t having a meeting at 7 o’clock.
    Sentence 1 is incorrect so your understanding of it is irrelevant.
    Sentence 2 is correct but neither interpretation works. It simply means that a meeting was happening at 7, Tom should have been at that meeting but he was not.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.

    There's a possibility that Tom was at the meeting, in a slightly different scenario.

    A: "I think I saw Tom last night at 7 o'clock, but it was getting dark, so I'm not sure."
    B: "If it was 7 o'clock, Tom should have been at a meeting."

    In this case, either A saw Tom, and so Tom wasn't at the meeting, or A didn't see Tom, and Tom could have been at the meeting. So 2a is correct in that context.

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    #4

    Re: It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    There's a possibility that Tom was at the meeting, in a slightly different scenario.

    A: "I think I saw Tom last night at 7 o'clock, but it was getting dark, so I'm not sure."
    B: "If it was 7 o'clock, Tom should have been at a meeting."

    In this case, either A saw Tom, and so Tom wasn't at the meeting, or A didn't see Tom, and Tom could have been at the meeting. So 2a is correct in that context.
    Thanks. With emsr2d2's and your help, I feel comfortable in understanding the meanings of sentence 2. But sentence 1 in my OP seems pretty much logical and I can’t figure out why it’s wrong.
    1) It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.
    To get a better contrast, let’s move the time line to the present.
    It is 7 o'clock. Tom shall be having a meeting. (I think it maybe mean that Tom shall have a meeting soon, may 5 minutes past 7.)
    But if I backshift the timeline, that sentence will be just as sentence 1.

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    #5

    Re: It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.

    Quote Originally Posted by lagoo View Post
    It is 7 o'clock. Tom shall be having a meeting.
    That is not natural.
    Last edited by Piscean; 29-Mar-2020 at 18:50.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.

    Quote Originally Posted by lagoo View Post
    But sentence 1 in my OP seems pretty much logical and I can’t figure out why it’s wrong.

    1) It was 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting.
    The problem there is the combination of the past simple "was" with the present "should be having".

    If you're saying it at 7 o'clock, it is "It is 7 o'clock. Tom should be having a meeting".
    If you're saying it after 7 o'clock, it is "It was 7 o'clock. Tom should have been having a meeting".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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