how welcome death would have been


Senior Member
Ellen White: woman of vision

But the task of traveling and sharing the vision seemed to her impossible to accomplish and doomed to failure. Oh, how welcome death would have been, for it would have released her from the responsibilities that were crowding in upon her.

Why have + Past participle? and what is the function for the word 'for'?

Thanks in advance.
  • Crockett

    Senior Member
    US English
    Adding the word 'have' gives it a different meaning. "How welcome death would be" means that the speaker currently wishes he was dead. "How welcome death would have been" means that the speaker wished in the past that he was dead but currently does not feel this way. 'For' in this example means 'because.' Beware, substituting 'for' for 'because' would usually sound silly, for it's kind of a fancy way of speaking which to my ears, sounds old.
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