Really Mixed Conditionals

If he is such a good doctor,...


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Tdol

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Any comments?
;-)
 

RonBee

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For number two I would say, "If he was such a good doctor he would have diagnosed the illness." (presumably, he didn't diagnose the illness.)
 

dduck

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The second example makes no sense to me.

I'd think it should be:

"If he were such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the illness"

Iain
 
A

Anonymous

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It is a very strange conditional and it only seems to work with 'should'. ;-)
 

Tdol

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That's me again- I seem to be getting timed out or something tonight. ;-(
 
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aijex ijaz

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Well, I would say that there are contexts where the two options can make sense. However, considered alone, in themselves, they may pose a bit of a dificulty for someone trying to make sense out of them.
 

Tdol

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It is a strange sentence. The 'should' form always works for me, but the 'would' one depends- sometimes it sounds OK, then at others it doesn't. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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tdol said:
Any comments?
;-)

I think the sentence would work better with "were" in the "if" clause.

As it stands, I would accept either modal.

With should, it means that if he is a good doctor (and presumably was then) one can legitimately expect a correct diagnosis from him.

With would, it means that a good doctor would have made a correct diagnosis; since this one did not, he is probably not a good doctor.
 

Tdol

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MikeNewYork said:
I think the sentence would work better with "were" in the "if" clause.

What a shock! :lol:
 
C

Christopher

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If he is such a good doctor he would have diagnesed the illness, because if he wasn't he may have not known anything about that sort of illness.
 
C

Christopher

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If he is such a good doctor he would have diagnesed the illness, because if he wasn't he may have not known anything about that sort of illness.
 

RonBee

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Welcome to our friendly forum!

:hi:
 

RonBee

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Welcome to our friendly forum!

:hi:
 
S

sylvia philobos

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if he were/ had been such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the disease.

this means that he is not a good doctor that is why he could not diagnose the disease.
this is correct if you want to follow the rule. However I think the one with should makes sense because that is what is expected from a good doctor.
 
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neurobotanist

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sylvia philobos said:
if he were/ had been such a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the disease.

this means that he is not a good doctor that is why he could not diagnose the disease.
this is correct if you want to follow the rule. However I think the one with should makes sense because that is what is expected from a good doctor.

So.... what is the final verdict? I was more comfortable with no.1, but after reading all your comments, I'm not sure anymore!! :shock:

I think the sentence 'if he had been a good doctor, he would have dignosed the disease' is used in a different situation, an even that happened in a more distant past. It's sort of like talking about a past event, isn't it? e.g. Mary has been suffering from anorexia all these years. She went to see Dr Death last year, and if he had been a good doctor, he would have diagnosed the disease.

Whereas the original question 'if he is/were a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the disease' sounds more like something that just happened recently....

someone... please enlighten me.

Oh, and I'm also a new member. Nice to meet you all!

neurobotanist
 

Tdol

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If he is such a good doctor, he should have diagnosed the illness- This is the one I'd use, where he didn't diagnose the illness, but the question about his medical ability is current. ;-)
 

Isra

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So, the right answer is the one 1 :cry:
What a pity!:cool:
 

Tdol

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It's a rare and very mixed conditional. ;-)
 

Hamburg

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Both imply that the man is not a very good doctor. (I'm good at stating the obvious :roll: )

I think that "He should have" is more critical of the man's abilities than "He would have", that though may be due to my Glasgow dialect. ;-)
 
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will peters

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Hi, I'm new here. I agree with Iain (good Scottish spelling!) that were (or was) would be more usual in the 'if' part, because we obviously have our doubts. To me 'If he is such a good doctor' is more likely to lead into a question than a conditional; i.e. 'If he is such a good doctor, why didn't he diagnose the illness?' But I can't say that either sounds totally wrong.
 
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