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Hello,

I know how conditional statements work, but I have a small doubt on tense. For instance: If that's true, you must've been rich. (or) If you were a good guy, you should have done that.

Are these okay? Because in the first example, 'must have' (instead of must) follows 'that's true' instead of 'had been true.' In the second, 'should have' (instead of should) follows 'were' instead of 'had been.' So what I am asking is: is 'could have/must have/should have etc. ONLY follow 'had' as in 'had x been true, y would have been true.' Or, can it also follow 'is' and 'were' as in my examples.

Sorry for complicating this.

Thanks,
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I think the general answer to your question is "no, with some exceptions".

One of the exceptions is "If that's true, you must have been rich", which seems fine. "must have" shows that you are talking about a past situation, but if someone has just made a statement about a past situation you can question it with "if that is true", in reference to the statement.

-- "I used to own seven houses."

-- "If that's true, you must have been rich!"

On the other hand, "If it's a cold winter, you must have had difficulty keeping warm" isn't really possible.

"If you were a good guy, you should have done that" seems dubious to me.
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Thanks, Wordy. I was thinking more like this about the second instance. Suppose a guy says: I am a good soldier and I did nothing wrong. I reply: If you really were a good soldier, you should have protected those people.

In this context, isn't 'should have' appropriate? I mean, my reply relates to the past conduct of the soldier....

Thanks again.
AnonymousSuppose a guy says: I am a good soldier and I did nothing wrong. I reply: If you really were a good soldier, you should have protected those people.
This seems reasonable, so perhaps my first impression needs modification.