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"With his death still under investigation, a source close to Carradine told Tarts that the actor had been struggling with financial concerns (but did not think the 72-year-old actor would have ever even considered taking his own life.)"

This sentence is an exerpt from a news abou David Carradine's death".

See the part in backet. "did not think" happens at time point 3. "would have consider" happens at time1, right? why is perfect tense used?

thanks,

Ench

Time1---Time2(suicide)Time3-now(when this article is being writen).
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Comments  
The perfect is always used to express an action previous to another past action.

I thought he had already left.

He said that he thought they had already left.

Do these match up with your "3-time thinking"?
Philip:
thanks first. Is there any Subjunctive Mood involved in this part?
Ench
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No subjunctive.
<financial struggles> <death> <... death under investigation ... (now)>
\ <source told Tarts ... >
\ <source didn't think ...>
<would have considered suicide then?>
<would not have considered suicide then?>

There are many more than "three times":

The financial struggles came first.
The death came next.
The investigation started next.
The source reported the financial struggles next.
The source gave an opinion next
-- regarding the influence the financial struggles had on suicide.
The writer wrote the story next.
We are reading the story next - now.

The "consideration of suicide" does not occur at any time in reality.

It occurs in the imagination of the speaker (the source).
But the speaker imagines the possibility of this consideration as if in the past -- between the financial struggles and the death. Was that consideration in the mind of the deceased? Or not?
The source makes a guess, expresses an opinion: No, that consideratiion was not in the mind of the deceased before he died.

CJ
Jim:
thanks. One more question, from what you told, can I say the subjunctive is involved?
Ench.
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Enchantedsubjunctive ... ?
No. No subjunctives here. would is not associated with the subjunctive, if that's what you were thinking.

CJ
Jim:
In many cases, i always confused subjunctives. What is the best way to identify subjunctives?
thanks,
Ench
EnchantedWhat is the best way to identify subjunctives?
It may be better just to ignore them! English has so few forms that are obviously subjunctive that it's not often you'll see them. Most subjunctive forms are the same as non-subjunctive forms, so there's no way to be sure.

If you see any past tense or past perfect tense in an if-clause, it's most likely a subjunctive.

If they were here, they would enjoy the music.
If Thomas had gone to the concert, he would have enjoyed it.

If you see any other tense in an if-clause, it is not a subjunctive.

If Paul's friends are late, we'll start without them. (not subjunctive)

If you see be used as a main verb, it's a subjunctive.

It's important that Lucy be here tomorrow at 9.

If you see a third person singular present tense form without s, it's a subjunctive.

I suggest that Henry go first.

If you see a modal verb construction (with can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might, must) without if, it is not a subjunctive.

Sue would be able to help us. (not subjunctive)
Larry might arrive late. (not subjunctive)

CJ
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