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The boy I was about to meet might have play a very important role in my life.

[example] [lit.]
9 replies    
Sources

The boy I was about to meet would get to play a very important role in my life.

(Job selection Test)

Comment

Hello,


this was a grammar question in a job selection test. Another possible answer for the bold section was has had to. Could this have also been a right answer? (Please explain why/why not)

Authorhanae (701333) 20 Aug 17, 17:18
Comment
The boy I was about to meet might have play a very important role in my life.
This sentence is wrong; for it to be correct, it would have to read "might have played"

The boy I was about to meet has had to play a very important role in my life.
This sentence can't be correct, because "I was about to meet" is in the future, while "has had to" is in the past.

Therefore the only correct sentence is:

The boy I was about to meet would get to play a very important role in my life.

I am going to meet this boy, and he is going to play an important role in my life.
#1Authorpenguin (236245) 20 Aug 17, 17:38
Comment
"The only correct sentence" trifft nicht zu.
Eine korrekte Version ist:
The boy I was about to meet might have played a very important role in my life.
(so wie bereits dargestellt)
#2AuthorReinhard W. (237443) 20 Aug 17, 18:13
Comment
Aber das steht da nicht ... und ich halte die Zeiten auch nicht für korrekt.
#3Authorpenguin (236245) 20 Aug 17, 18:21
Comment
I would like to see the full text of the question and the answer choices.

Pending that, #2 sounds to me like a better English sentence than #1.
#4AuthorJurist (US) (804041) 20 Aug 17, 20:24
Comment


I agree that none of the options mentioned so far seem right, even if we could theoretically construct explanations for them.

'Would get to play' would be a strange meaning, similar to 'would be allowed to play a role' or 'would be able to play a role.' That seems logically unlikely. 'Get to play' is usually seen in other contexts, e.g., 'He got to play when the first-string player was injured.'

'Might have played' also seems logically unlikely, since the sentence doesn't continue with anything contrary to fact. (E.g., '..., but it was not to be / ..., if he had not been killed at a young age / ..., if our paths in life had continued as we then expected them to continue.'

Similarly, 'has had to play' is not grammatically impossible -- it's not actually the past tense, but the present perfect -- but it too is logically unlikely, because 'to have to play a role in someone's life' is an unlikely situation. ('The boy I was about to meet has had to play an important role in my life. When I became an orphan, his parents adopted me, and since then he has had to accept me as his sibling whether he likes it or not.')

To me the obvious correct answers, one of which you would expect to see among those offered, are as follows:

The boy I was about to meet _______ a very important role in my life.

was to play
would play
would come to play

This is what I think of as 'future in the past,' whether or not that's the right formal name for it.

I think I know, or knew, it in Romance languages, but I'm not sure we ever covered it in German class, so I've never actually been quite sure what corresponds to it, if anything, in German. A recent thread where it came up never really reached a definitive conclusion, unless dude's 'sollte' was it and it just never was confirmed by anyone else.


#5Authorhm -- us (236141) 20 Aug 17, 22:42
Comment
To me, 'would get to play' corresponds to 'would go on to play' (or your 'would come to play') - BE/AE difference?

I would have thought the present perfect is, in fact, a form of past tense?
#6Authorpenguin (236245) 20 Aug 17, 22:48
Comment
Hmm. I was waiting to see if any BE speakers took you up on that one, but it may be too late in the day for them to still turn up.

To me 'to get to do sth.' is basically like 'etw. tun dürfen,' or maybe 'können.' So no, for me it doesn't fit with those other expressions with a future meaning.

'To go on to do sth.,' however, is fine.
#7Authorhm -- us (236141) 21 Aug 17, 00:25
Comment
 Everything's done already? As hannae, who put the question, didn't recur anyway?
In case somebody might come back, I'm going to leave my humble opinion:
 
I had the idea after reading the sentence first and was sure when read #5.
The boy I was about to meet is simple past and leads us to a future event
would is will in the past
play a very important role in my life.
 
Future in the past. Is the answer that simple? Let’s put it in the present tense:
The boy I am about to meet will play a very important role in my life.
 
#8AuthorRenaRd (907225) 29 Aug 17, 18:01
Comment
A.E. speaker here.. A couple of comments...
I agree with #7: 'to get to' do, sing, play, talk, go, (or any verb). always implies some kind of positively- regarded permission or allowance, or similarly, a positive turn of fate that proffers one a wanted chance to do, be or have something. Of course, it can be used with irony with the opposite meaning of 'to have to', which conversely connotes obligation rather than permission.
So, #6's suggestion of equivalence would depend upon the situation and the viewpoint of the speaker and of the participant.

As for the the present perfect being a 'form' of the past tense.. It both is and it isn't, because it also includes the present tense. The even happened in the past, but it -or its result or its condition- continues also now in this present moment.
The past tense always begs the question "When exactly in the past"?

#8 correct.
The boy I was about to meet would play a very important role in my life.
= The boy I was about to meet would end up playing a very important role in my life.
= The boy I was about to meet would turn out to play a very important role in my life.
= The boy I was about to meet would come to play a very important role in my life.
#9Authoreclectus (1173200) 04 Sep 17, 01:54
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