a political monster of some sort who <would lose><lost>

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:

a political monster of some sort who would <have lost><lose>

Sample sentence:

I think if he ever lost that sense of the private John Kerry, he would be a political monster of some sort who <would lose><lost> his reflective side.

Question:

I have changed "would become" to "would be" in this thread. I wonder if the bolded tenses "would lose" and "lost" are both correct. If so, do they both correspond to the following order of events:

1. He loses that sense of the private John Kerry which makes him a political monster.
2. He loses his reflective side.


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Would be" looks fine, JJXR. I expect to see "had lost" in the second half of the clause.
     
    Last edited:

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, owlman5.
    I think if he ever lost that sense of the private John Kerry, he would be a political monster of some sort who had lost his reflective side.
    The sentence with "had lost" corresponds to the following order of events:

    1. He loses his reflective side.
    2. He loses that sense of the private John Kerry which makes him a political monster.

    Am I right?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    That sounds right, JJXR. I didn't really give it too much thought, but I suppose I did somehow believe that he lost his reflective side before he became a political monster in that imaginary situation.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks owlman5.

    I think that "would have lost" is also correct, and this is how I see the difference between "had lost" and "would have lost":
    I think if he ever lost that sense of the private John Kerry, he would be a political monster of some sort who had lost his reflective side.
    The use of "had lost" makes losing his reflective side an integral part of becoming a political monster.
    I think if he ever lost that sense of the private John Kerry, he would be a political monster of some sort who would have lost his reflective side.
    The use of "would have lost" is speculative and means that there is no clear evidence based on which we can conclude that losing his reflective side is inherent in becoming a political monster. This is merely a guess.
    1. He loses his reflective side.
    2. He loses that sense of the private John Kerry which makes him a political monster.
    The above quoted order of events holds for both "had lost" and "would have lost".

    Does the above reasoning make sense?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I see your argument and I accept your version, JJXR. It's not what I would choose, but you're a different person. Because I've read several snarky, unhelpful remarks about "would" + "would" constructions on various websites, I tend to shy away from anything that looks like one.

    All of that aside, what's the advantage in "would have" + "would have"? I can't see one that is in any way obvious to me.
     
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    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks owlman5.
    All of that aside, what's the advantage in "would have" + "would have"? I can't see one that is in any way obvious to me.
    As regards my example sentence, I would say there's no real advantage in using "would have lost" rather than "had lost" because the sentence is already speculative because of "would be". Although there may be contexts in which the nuances in meaning that I have outlined in post #5 may be helpful in some way. As a non-native speaker, I'm just trying to understand how different tenses work in conditional sentences. I came across this usage of "who would have + past participle" in my previous thread.
     
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