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He could feel the threat of rain in the air. Ned would have welcomed it. It might have made him feel a trifle less unclean.

Hi.

1. Does the underlined part imply "If it had rained, it might have made him feel a trifle less unclean"?

2. Can I think all "might have pp"s imply conditionals, when "might have pp"s mean something was possible but didn't happen? Like this example?

Thank you.

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zuotengdazuo1. Does the underlined part imply "If it had rained, it might have made him feel a trifle less unclean"?

Do you know whether or not it actually went on to rain?

zuotengdazuo2. Can I think all "might have pp"s imply conditionals, when "might have pp"s mean something was possible but didn't happen?

No. For example, "I think I might have lost my wallet". The speaker believes it may have happened.

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GPYDo you know whether or not it actually went on to rain?

Thank you. I am very sure it didn't actually go on to rain. So I think the "might have" here expresses a situation that didn't happen (counterfactual situation), which should imply a condition.

GPYNo. For example, "I think I might have lost my wallet". The speaker believes it may have happened.

Your example seems to be the supposition use of "might have", which is not the type of "might have" I am currently asking about.

Right?

And do you think the usage of "might have pp" is essentially the same as "would have pp"?

Namely, three usages?

1) counterfactuality

2) supposition/uncertainty

3) imagined situations with superfluous conditions

zuotengdazuoI am very sure it didn't actually go on to rain. So I think the "might have" here expresses a situation that didn't happen (counterfactual situation), which should imply a condition.

Right, he might have felt a little less unclean if it had rained.

zuotengdazuoYour example seems to be the supposition use of "might have", which is not the type of "might have" I am currently asking about.

OK, I didn't understand that clearly from your question. I gather now that you meant "When 'might have pp' means that something was possible but didn't happen, is there always an implied condition?"

In the absence of any counterexamples, I would guess that a condition could probably always be constructed, describing the circumstances in which the thing would have happened, but the condition may be a bit superfluous or weak.

zuotengdazuoAnd do you think the usage of "might have pp" is essentially the same as "would have pp"?Namely, three usages? 1) counterfactuality 2) supposition/uncertainty 3) imagined situations with superfluous conditions

1. Yes, as you illustrated.

2. If you are referring to uses of "would have" such as "In the Stone Age, people would have had tough lives", then "uncertainty" is not a good characterisation, in my opinion. The meaning is a little short of direct certainty, but "uncertainty" seems to emphasise the wrong aspect.

In this kind of use, "might have", e.g. "In the Stone Age, people might have ... ", is markedly less confident than "would have".

3. Yes, weak or superfluous, as in "Kant might have made a good poet".



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GPY2. If you are referring to uses of "would have" such as "In the Stone Age, people would have had tough lives", then "uncertainty" is not a good characterisation, in my opinion. The meaning is a little short of direct certainty, but "uncertainty" seems to emphasise the wrong aspect.In this kind of use, "might have", e.g. "In the Stone Age, people might have ... ", is markedly less confident than "would have"

Thank you. I don't mean "would have" can express uncertainty. I mean "might have pp" can convey uncertainty, as I read in many grammar books. And I suppose "might have pp" doesn't imply a condition when it expresses "uncertainty"?

zuotengdazuo And I suppose "might have pp" doesn't imply a condition when it expresses "uncertainty"?

It could imply a non-counterfactual condition. For example:

A: He might have missed the train.
B: In that case, he might have missed the meeting too.

I.e., if he missed the train (possible) then he might also have missed the meeting.

Thank you. I see. I just mean "might have pp" usually doesn't imply a condition when it expresses "uncertainty". Right?

And I'd like to ask when referring to "uncertainty", can "could have" and "might have" be interchangeable?

For example, A: Who sent those flowers?
B: I'm not sure. It could/might have been your mother.

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zuotengdazuoThank you. I see. I just mean "might have pp" usually doesn't imply a condition when it expresses "uncertainty".

No, not usually.

To me, "possibility" seems a better term than "uncertainty" when talking about this kind of usage.

zuotengdazuoAnd I'd like to ask when referring to "uncertainty", can "could have" and "might have" be interchangeable? For example,
A: Who sent those flowers?
B: I'm not sure. It could/might have been your mother.

They mean near enough the same in this kind of example.

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