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Harold Shipman, the former GP who is believed to have killed more than 200 people, has been found dead in his prison cell......

Over Christmas 2003, Shipman was put on "basic privileges" after he was uncooperative with staff. He would have had to wear prison uniform and would have had no TV in his cell. He was moved back to the "standard privilege" level a week before he died.

Could anyone please explain me they have used "would have had to", Is it talking about future in past ? if not so can we use had had to instead of Would have had to ?

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SabyakgpHarold Shipman, the former GP who is believed to have killed more than 200 people, has been found dead in his prison cell......

Over Christmas 2003, Shipman was put on "basic privileges" after he was uncooperative with staff. He would have had to wear prison uniform and would have had no TV in his cell. He was moved back to the "standard privilege" level a week before he died.

Could anyone please explain me they have used "would have had to", Is it talking about future in past ? if not so can we use had had to instead of Would have had to ?


I think "had to wear" and "had no TV" are correct.
They use this wording as they are talking theoretically. They haven't really been informed of what he was wearing or whether he had a tv. They are using their experience of what normally happens to prisoners on basic privileges. They are explaining basic privileges rather than telling you what happened to him. It is correct as it is.
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Thanks a lot friends, In my humble opinion i don't think they could use "had to " here, as i believe that "had to" can be used when we are talking about past regular obligations .For example.

Had to:

I had to raech office by 6 A.M when i was in USA.

Had had to:

I had had to do lot of work before i left office on tuesday.

Plesae correct me if i am wring

I have seen the usage of "Would" and "Would have" in present contexts. Here is an example from BBC on Face transplans:

face transplant, according to the surgeons who say they could carry it out, would involve removing the face of a dead person and placing it on someone who is still alive.

face transplant, according to the surgeons who say they could carry it out, would involve removing the face of a dead person and placing it on someone who is still alive.The donor and patient would have similar skin tone and the same blood type and would be of comparable age.....

This type of surgery is by no means straight-forward. Nerves in the muscle would have to be attached to nerves in the patient's head.

Could you please let me know why they are using "Would" or "Would have" here (there is no present unreal conditional here and they are talking in present context) Can it be replaced by "Will" or "Will have" ?
Hi Sabyakgp,

As Nona rightly points out, in your first example the modal verb "would" is used to express how the described conditions are related to a previous decision taken by his minders. But while Nona interprets the would as expressing uncertainty about what actually happened, I am more inclined to perceive it as a tool to highlight the obligation itself.

Present, the bailiff speaking: "Inmate Shipman, you will have no TV in your cell!"

Past: The bailiff decided that inmate Shipman would have (had) no TV in his cell.

Of course, would have had to wear prison uniform AND had to wear prison uniform sound roughly the same, as they both imply an obligation. Would have had no TV in his cell also shows this obligation, but had no TV in his cell does not express any obligation at all.

Your new example seems to be a clear case of the principle that Nona proposed:

face transplant, according to the surgeons who say they could carry it out, would involve removing the face of a dead person and placing it on someone who is still alive.The donor and patient would have similar skin tone and the same blood type and would be of comparable age.....

This type of surgery is by no means straight-forward. Nerves in the muscle would have to be attached to nerves in the patient's head.

Here, the journalists are saying that they are relying on the data provided by the surgeons. If would were to be replaced by will, the journalist would be accepting responsibility for all of these affirmations. The way it stands, they are only relating an interview or conversation.

Regards, Patrick
That was a good explanation.

My humble opinion is that Nona did relate the use of 'would' with normal conditions taken previously in those similar situations but I am not sure about whether she epxpressed uncertainty about the conditions might happen. I just think she just stated the conditions that normally peple be under in those situations possibly reflecting previous experiences.
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Thanks a lot again for all your help. "Would" seems to be the most confusing modal verb in English grammer and trying hard to learn the correct usages of this mysterious word Emotion: smile.

As Nona said. they might have used "Would have had to" to express the uncertainty, in that case, Can we use "had had to" to express certainty ,I said "had had to" because here everything happened before he died (past event) so we may not use "Had to" here which past simple. Is it correct ?

My grandfather died at the age of 64, he had had severe nerual problems and had had to take a lot of medicine before he died (here speaker knows what exactly had happened to his grandfather before he died).

My grandfather died at the age of 64, he had had severe nerual problems and would have had to take a lot of medicine before he died (Here speaker is sure that his grandfather had nerual problems but not sure whether he had taken a lot of medicine for that or not , may be he was not born that time, he heard from his father).

I just phrased these above sentences to show my understanding, could you plesae tell me whether its correct.

As Mr. Patrick said, in that face transplant report, "Would" is used in present context (correct me if i am wrong) and expressed imagination of the speaker. Past of "Would" in this context is "Would be" and present perfect would be "Would have" and past perfect would be "Would have had". Is my understanding correct ?

Mr. Patrick has also said that "Had to" and "Would have had to" sound roughly same, i think "had to" is past simple which could replaced with "Would have to", Can you plesae tell me the difference between "had to" , "Would have to" and "Would have had to" ? I apologize for Troubling you a lot, i am just trying to learn correct English.

Regards.

Sabya
SabyakgpMr. Patrick has also said that "Had to" and "Would have had to" sound roughly same, i think "had to" is past simple which could replaced with "Would have to", Can you plesae tell me the difference between "had to" , "Would have to" and "Would have had to" ? I apologize for Troubling you a lot, i am just trying to learn correct English.

had to = "We had to close the door" and would have had to = "We would have had to close the door" operate in the same time-frame, meaning that both are expressed after the door has been closed or left open.

would have to = "We would have to close the door" is used before the action is performed. A more direct version would be "We have to close the door".

I hope this helps,

Patrick
Thanks a lot Mr. Patrick
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