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Atatürk
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 4:34:44 PM
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Joined: 10/25/2018
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A. Why didn't Frank come to the party last night?

B. I'm not sure but he... people there.

1. might not like
2. might not have liked

Why is #1 wrong?

"Might" is the past of "may".



Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 9:19:21 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/2/2009
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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Atatürk wrote:
A. Why didn't Frank come to the party last night?

B. I'm not sure but he... people there.

1. might not like
2. might not have liked

Why is #1 wrong?

"Might" is the past of "may".

If you say "He might not like the people there," You are implying the people are still there. The party is over and done with, so in discussing the people who were there, you wish to put the comment into the over-and-done past, too. It could correctly be put in simple past: "He might not like the people who were there.

This is proper. In casual conversation, you might hear the first.
pjharvey
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 4:02:34 AM
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And, as RuthP says, you use the artiche "the" before "people there" - because it's those people who were in there.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 4:58:08 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
However - if he didn't go, how would he know which people were actually going to be there?

If, however,if it was a particular GROUP who were having the party: artists; intellectuals;workmates; a gang of rowdies from the local pub; and who Frank doesn't like being with, it would make more sense.

In which case it would be more natural for us to say he "...mightn't like the 'crowd' who were going to be there/who were having the party."
Y111
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 9:08:24 AM
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Joined: 6/25/2017
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Location: Kurgan, Kurgan, Russia
I have a theory about why the version with 'like' is considered wrong.

'Might' is the past tense of 'may' in reported speech.

Frank said, "I may not come".
Frank said he might not come.


In the original sentence 'might' refers to the speaker's degree of confidence in his/her guess why Frank didn't come to the party. The time referred to by each version is indicated by its infinitive: 'like' is present and 'have liked' is past.

He might not like = I think it possible that he doesn't like
He might not have liked = I think it possible that he didn't like

Pragmatically speaking, both can be used because Frank's dislike for those people can be permanent, not confined to the time of the party.

He didn't come because he doesn't like them.
He didn't come because he didn't like them.


But from a purely grammatical point of view you might say that in the first sentence a past event is presented as a consequence of a present state of mind, which is contradictory.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 11:22:57 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
That's very astute . . . it does make a difference sometimes.

If (when one finally figures out all the different tenses used in a sentence) BOTH versions make sense, if one of them SOUNDs as if it violates cause & effect - a bit like "He didn't go yesterday because he'll find out tomorrow that he doesn't like them today" it will not be used.

As Y111 says - "I'm not sure but he might not like people there." SEEMs to say
"He didn't go to the party last night because of how he feels today."

As Ruth says - you may hear both versions in conversation.
However, the one with a 'past time-frame' "might not have liked" sounds a bit smoother.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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