[Grammar] They would have been married forty years come this June.

Soseki

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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
 
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Tdol

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

Soseki

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

If their marriage had continued, they would have been ...
 
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Tdol

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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.
 

Matthew Wai

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

Soseki

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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?
 

emsr2d2

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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.
 

Matthew Wai

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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.'
 

SoothingDave

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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."
 

Tdol

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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.
 

tzfujimino

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Did you make sentence B by removing "would" from the original sentence A, Soseki? As SoothingDave pointed out, it doesn't work.

(Edit)
The word "come" is classified as a preposition in the dictionary.
 
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Soseki

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Did you make sentence B by removing "would" from the original sentence A, Soseki? As SoothingDave pointed out, it doesn't work.

The use of the perfect tense needs lots of attention.
 

Soseki

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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.
Does the original sentence completely exclude a possibility of the continuation of their marriage even after come June?
That is, a situation in which nothing that breaks their marriage has happened to them up to the present.
 

Matthew Wai

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If such a situation exists, 'will have been married' should be used instead of 'would have been married'.
 
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Soseki

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If such a situation exists, 'will have been married' should be used instead of 'would have been married'.

Another edition of Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary gives:
We'll have been married for two years come Christmas.

Are they a young couple?

An elderly couple two years after their marriage is possible to think of.
 

Matthew Wai

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I think people could get married (again) at an old age.
 

Tdol

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Are they a young couple?

We have no idea of their age from the sentence. They could have married at 18 or 80. The only thing we know is how long they will have been married when their next anniversary comes around.
 
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