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Hi guys,
please check the next sentence...Maybe I'm stupid, but can you explain me, why the speaker used "perfect conditional" tense...???


This lighthouse was originally built in 1894 and the lighthouse keeper and his family would’ve lived(??? Why? Imho he's just saying here that he'd been living there with his family for two years ) in this dilapidated structure until 1896 - or is that 1986(he had a feeling that he read it incorrectly) – and although they would’ve only been(???Why?) 100m above sea level, the view out over Bazaruto bay and one of the last viable populations of the extremely rare dugong would’ve been amazing(???)…reason enough for the four hour hike from the lodge.

thanks in advance!

Best Regards

JCD
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... the lighthouse keeper and his family would’ve lived in this dilapidated structure until 1896.

It's based on the following:

If we had been alive and there in 1896, we would have seen him living there with his family, because it would have been the custom at that time for lighthouse keepers to do that.

Imagine yourself alive and there in 1896. In your imagination you can see that he is living there because it is the custom for lighthouse keepers to live there with their families at this time.

You can use would have to talk somewhat abstractly about the way things used to be in the past, especially about things you did not experience directly yourself.

The people who lived in the Middle Ages would have ... and would have ... and would have ....

If you had a lot of evidence that it was true, you could use the past simple.

The people who lived in the Middle Ages ---ed, and ---ed, and ---ed.

This explanation might not help, but then again, it might. Emotion: smile

CJ
Comments  
Hi, JCDenton. Glad te see you. May be the house is demolished now or doesn't exist and thus we can't judge about real conditions it had so many years ago. And we may not have truly evidence (may be written ones or the source could be vague or ambiguous) which way the house really was in that time.

That's only my opinion. Emotion: smile
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Hi Fandorin and CJ
CalifJimThis explanation might not help, but then again, it might.

Well, CJ, actually it did. Emotion: smile
CalifJimYou can use would have to talk somewhat abstractly about the way things used to be in the past, especially about things you did not experience directly yourself.

The people who lived in the Middle Ages would have ... and would have ... and would have ....

If you had a lot of evidence that it was true, you could use the past simple.
Thank you Jim for this. I didn't know that. The description of the history of that lighthouse was the first time when I heard it. That's why I was confused why they used this tense. But this explanation helped me a lot, because it's exactly my case.

thank you guys to both of you.
Best Regards
JCD
Emotion: smile You're welcome. Thank you CalifJim for clear explanation and JcDenton for an interesting example.
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