Conditional (2)/mixed: If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to ...

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness. ---taken from using English. com
If I were a teacher, I will give all that I have known to my students. ----taken from internet.
Guys,

I am thoroughly confused about the above sentences. Since in my grammar book, both are second conditionals, I do think they are grammatically wrong. But using English.com says the first sentence is correct, one of my friends said the second one is correct also. Could you please tell why? Thanks.


LQZ
 
  • bluegiraffe

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The first sentence is correct - it is a mixed conditional. The man is a qualified doctor - he was when he tried to make the diagnosis and still is now. Him trying to diagnose the illness was in the past, hence the two difference tenses.

    I consider the second sentence to be wrong.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The first sentence is correct - it is a mixed conditional. The man is a qualified doctor - he was when he tried to make the diagnosis and still is now. Him trying to diagnose the illness was in the past, hence the two difference tenses.
    Hi, bluegiraffe, thank you for your quick reply. But I can't understand the part in red, could you please explain more? Thanks again.


    LQZ
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness. ---taken from using English. com
    In my opinion, the first sentence should be reworded like this:
    If he had been a qualifued doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.

    :D:confused:Sorry guys, I am still confused.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Hi, bluegiraffe, thank you for your quick reply. But I can't understand the part in red, could you please explain more? Thanks again.


    LQZ
    Bluegiraffe means that the sentence could have been written starting "if he is a doctor now and was a doctor at the time of diagnosis he should have been able to diagnose the illness". This expanded sentence shows that the "should have been able to" is actually linked to the tense "was" which is only implied in the original.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Guys, does the following is clearer than the original one?

    He is qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Guys, does the following is clearer than the original one?

    He is qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.
    I wouldn't say it's clearer, LQZ - but it does come very close to the meaning of the original.

    The "if" in If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness is quite close to "given that": Given that he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.

    The implication is that the speaker has just learnt that "he" is a qualified doctor; the speaker is replying In that case, he should have been able....
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Well, it can do, LQZ, in universal statements like if it rains, the roads get wet.

    But it doesn't here: this "if" is an example of what is called in this Wiki article "a hypothetical condition that is potentially true, but not yet verified". You might find it helpful to read the section of the article dealing with Factual/predictive conditions :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Doesn't the first sentence suggest that he is not, in fact, a qualified doctor - and the fact that he was unable to diagnose the illness is being put forward as evidence?
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    If he is a qualified doctor, he should have been able to diagnose the illness.
    It doesn't make sense to me as written. As panjandrum suggests, this makes his qualifications suspect.


    As a qualified doctor, he should have been able... There is no doubt that he is qualified, and thus the comment about his past ability to diagnose is logical.

    If he were a qualified doctor, he should have... This suggests that he is not, and implies that his lack of qualification resulted in a bad diagnosis.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    As a qualified doctor, he should have been able... There is no doubt that he is qualified, and thus the comment about his past ability to diagnose is logical.

    If he were a qualified doctor, he should have... This suggests that he is not, and implies that his lack of qualification resulted in a bad diagnosis.
    :)That is what my grammar book tells me.
     
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