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Hi teachers!

My grammar book says the sentence below is wrong because of 'would' and it has to be changed into 'should' as shown in #2. However, I think #1 is grammatical and makes sense.

Please teachers let me know how do you think. Also some gramnar book says 'would have PP' is rarely used in a third conditional sentence because it means the speakers 'hope'. Is that true?


1. He didn't want to join us in our trip because he had a job that he would have finished a few night ago.

2. He didn't want to join us in our trip because he had a job that he should have finished a few night ago.


And one more, is it okay 'a few days ago' in the sentence? I think a few days before sounds better.


As always many thanks native teachers.

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Michelle Cha2. He didn't want to join us on our trip because he had a job that he should have finished a few nights ago.
Michelle ChaHowever, I think #1 is grammatical and makes sense.

#1 does not make sense in any normal or likely interpretation.

Michelle ChaAlso some gramnar book says 'would have PP' is rarely used in a third conditional sentence

This doesn't make any sense to me. "would have pp" is the standard form of the main clause in a third conditional sentence. Do you mean that the book says you should use "should have" instead? "should have" in third conditionals is formal, or may feel old-fashioned.

Michelle ChaAnd one more, is it okay 'a few days ago' in the sentence? I think a few days before sounds better.

Both "a few days ago" and "a few nights ago" are possible. "days" is more generic. "nights" specifically implies that he works nights (or late into the evening). "ago" is OK provided you are talking about recent/current events, so that "a few days/nights ago" means essentially the same now as it did when he told you this. For events further back in the past, use "earlier" or "before" instead. In careful English I prefer "earlier".

Comments  
Michelle ChaI think #1 is grammatical and makes sense.

It is grammatical, but it doesn't make sense.

Michelle ChaAlso some gramnar book says 'would have PP' is rarely used in a third conditional sentence because it means the speakers 'hope'. Is that true?

I never use "would" to mean "wish" here in the US. It sounds old-fashioned to say the least.

Michelle Cha1. He didn't want to join us in our trip because he had a job that he would have finished a few night ago.

You mean "nights", of course, and I would say "on our trip". This means that he supposedly finished the job a few nights ago, which does not make sense.

Michelle Cha2. He didn't want to join us in our trip because he had a job that he should have finished a few night ago.

Better, although I have to think a bit to make the connection.

Michelle ChaAnd one more, is it okay 'a few days ago' in the sentence? I think a few days before sounds better.

"Days" is fine. "Before" works OK, too.

 GPY's reply was promoted to an answer.