Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
a) would reach
b) is reached
c) would be reached
d) had been reached
e) was reached
How many answers can be accepted as true in the sentence above and why? Comment is required. Thank you very much in advance.
After as if / as though we use Past Perfect when referring to a real or imaginary action in the past:
He talks about Rome as though he had been there himself. (but he hasn’t or probably he hasn’t or we don’t know whether he has or not)
The key to distinguish the different types of subjunctive is the verb tense of the subjunctive verb, and not the verb preceding "as if/as though"
The correct answer is D.
It looks as though an agreement had been reached yesterday between the two sides
(but there was no agreement or we don’t know whether there was an agreement or not)
He talks as if/though he were in Rome (he is not; were-subjunctive)
He talks as if/though he had been in Rome (no subjunctive here at all-- just past perfect for conditional III)
It looks as though an agreement was reached between the two sides.
It looks as though an agreement has been reached between the two sides.
It looks as though an agreement had been reached between the two sides (when the war broke out).
It looks as though an agreement will be reached between the two sides.
The question here is what attitude, state of mind or intent did the speaker want to convey? In the given sentence, if you think the speaker meant to express doubt about the success of the negotiation, then the correct tense to use would be the past perfect to indicate an unreal situation in the past.
The rules governing the construct of the past subjunctive were given in the following grammar books: A practical English Grammar A.J. THOMSON. A.V MARTINET Page : 250, and Martin HEWINGS Advanced grammar in Use page 170.
On the other hand, if you think that the speaker was relatively sure about the outcome, then the correct tense was just the simple past.
(Edited for type size. Large bold type looks aggressive, Likeguslee -- MM)
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