Chino Alpha
They had already taken him to see... They had already taken him to see a regular doctor. Was it not reasonable to assume that THE MEN IN THE WHITE COATS might come next? Still he _might have_ told them except he was sure, sooner or later, that they would want to take him away from the hotel. The context is the boy, Dany, and his parents are living in a hotel where his father works as a caretaker. Dany has seen some paranormal phenomena in this hotel. So he is scared and thinking about telling these things to his parents. But he is hesitant to do so because if he does, his parents might think he is insane and send him to a mental asylum. (where the men in the white coat work) He refers to Dany while they refer to his parents. Is "he _might have_ told them" an implied third conditional? If so, what is the complete sentence? Thank you.
Nov 22, 2017 4:44 PM
Answers · 3
Hi Chino Alpha, Firstly, I'd say that 'they' refers to 'the men in white coats', or mental health workers who would come to put him in a mental health institution against his will. 'Them' refers to the parents. Here "might have" means "could have" or "should have", so yes, much like the third conditional, it's referring to an imaginary situation in the past. It would be clearer if there were a comma before 'except', and the information that comes after except is the reason he didn't tell them, i.e. He could/should have told them, but he didn't because he was afraid they would take him away from the hotel. If you want to think of it in terms of the third conditional, then it would be: If he (Danny) had told them (parents), they (white coats) would have taken him (Danny) away. Here's a question for you: What does all work and no play make?
November 22, 2017
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Chino Alpha
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese
Learning Language
English, Japanese