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Help with a 英語選擇題


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'Timothy Ray Brown, the first man cured of HIV, initially opted against the stem cell transplantation that _______ history. ' 

A. could have later made
B. should have later made

C. might make later
D. would later make

Well, the official correct answer is D. Does it make sense to you? I think if I were to write this sentence, I might say something like 'that later made history'. Also, do you think answer A would fit here?


Thanks folks. 


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A. could have later made — Refers to a hypothetical that never happened in reality. It could have made history, but in fact it never did.
B. should have later made — Same as A, but the author believes the event ought to have happened.

C. might make later — This one is grammatical only in the way that "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is. The sentence doesn't make sense.
D. would later make — This one is correct, because the event did happen.


Even without knowing about Timothy Ray Brown's story, you can infer that this is the correct answer because it introduces him as "the first man cured of HIV" and uses the word "initially", implying that he later accepted it.


You can think of "would" as the past tense of "will".



    ^a        ^b         ^c
  • Point a is the point of reference (in our example, the point at which Timothy Ray Brown opted out of the treatment)
  • Point b is the event (being cured of HIV, thus making history)
  • Point c is now

At point a, we could say "if this treatment works, it will make history". From point c, we say that (as of point a) it "would later make history".


Hope that makes sense. Tense/aspect in English is pretty weird.

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D is the only correct answer out of A/B/C/D. The "would" is not necessary: your "that later made history" would be OK.


But I think the "would" is very natural here, probably because it adds an emphasis that at the time nothing was definite: he might not do the transplantation, it might not be successful. My feeling is that the "would" is a gentle reminder or emphasis that history would have been different if different decisions were made. Back then no one knew it was a "will make history", just a "could make history (if x, y and z)."


An alternative:  "... that went on to make history". Or: "that would go on to make history".

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2 hours ago, Kenny同志 said:

Does it make sense to you?


Let's put some context into this. Did it make history? If so, D is the right choice. If it did not make history, A and B are correct choices. The C choice contains the feeling that it may or may not have made history, so if it made history, C is not correct.

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As a self-contained sentence it doesn't need any more context: the guy was the first person cured of HIV, he took the transplantation, the transplantation must have effected the cure (or the sentence would tell us otherwise). The transplantation is therefore historic. The answer is therefore not A, B or C, but D.

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