as sometimes would/might/could <be><have been> termed clownish

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Sample sentences:

1. His demeanour was so blunt as sometimes might/could be termed clownish.

2. His demeanour was so blunt as sometimes would be termed clownish.

3. His demeanour was so blunt as sometimes might/could have been termed clownish.

4. His demeanour was so blunt as sometimes would have been termed clownish.

Question:

Does sentence #1 sound like the speaker knows to a certainty that sometimes his demeanour was possibly termed clownish?

Does sentence #2 sound like the speaker knows to a certainty that sometimes his demeanour was definitely termed clownish?

Does sentence #3 sound like the speaker doesn't know to a certainty whether his demeanour was sometimes termed clownish or not, but they are assuming that it possibly was?

Does sentence #4 sound like the speaker doesn't know to a certainty whether his demeanour was sometimes termed clownish or not, but they are assuming that it probably was?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
Last edited:
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Where did the sentence come from? It needs a different kind of clause after “so blunt as”. For example, “so blunt as to be almost clownish” (not that that makes sense either).
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Might does not mean could - may does not mean can.

    Might, in one sense, expresses a lesser possibility than "may"
    Might, in another sense, expresses the past tense of "may" but with the same level of possibility.

    This, with the necessary adjustments, is true of the other modals.

    You have also included another variable - the infinitive. This gives ten questions.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for your responses, lingobingo and PaulQ.
    Where did the sentence come from? It needs a different kind of clause after “so blunt as”. For example, “so blunt as to be almost clownish” (not that that makes sense either).
    Here's the source: this link.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    <Modal> be called -> <modal> currently be called
    <Modal> have been called -> <modal> at any time in the past be called
     
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