After the plan was implemented ... males would have to receive

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Timlo

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello all, I have a couple of questions and I can't figure out for a long time, hope I can get some help here.
Here are my questions.

First of all, I saw a sentence on a local English newspaper that goes this way:
After the plan was implemented, males under 18 in Taiwan would have to receive only 3 months of training (from my memory).
The problem is that the article is talking about a plan that has not been implemented. Why is it in past tense?
Is it in a subjunctive mood? Is it not confined to IF sentences only?

Thanks a lot! Sorry about that but this is pretty urgent for my study...thanks again everyone.
 
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  • manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    Hello all, I have a couple of questions and I can't figure out for a long time, hope I can get some help here.
    Here are my questions.

    First of all, I saw a sentence on a local English newspaper that goes this way:
    After the plan was implemented, males under 18 in Taiwan would have to receive only 3 months of training (from my memory).
    The problem is that the article is talking about a plan that has not been implemented. Why is it in past tense?
    Is it in a subjunctive mood? Is it not confined to IF sentences only?

    Thanks a lot! Sorry about that but this is pretty urgent for my study...thanks again everyone.
    Yes, it should, strictly speaking, be a subjunctive : 'If the plan were implemented', which would be less definite than 'After it was...'

    The problem is that the subjunctive is dropping out of use even in some more formal contexts now, and sounds alien even to some native users of English.
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I see no problem with the sentence as written. The original condition would be:
    "After the plan is implemented, males ... will have to receive ...."
    When we set that condition in the past, we shift the tenses back, but do not use the subjunctive.
    "After the plan was implemented, males ... would have to receive ...."
    This version simply reports the consequence of implementing the plan. It does not tell us whether the plan was implemented or not. We use the subjunctive when we both report the plan and at the same time indicate that has not been implemented.
    "If the plan were implemented, males ... would have to receive ...." [but they don't.]
     
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