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She'll have left yesterday. Options
Reiko07
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 4:45:31 AM

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She'll have left yesterday.
(From an English-Japanese dictionary.)

Does this sentence sound perfectly natural to you?

Romany
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:11:36 AM
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It sounds perfectly natural to me because it's used in some dialects of English.

But I'm surprised to find it in an English/Japanese dictionary - it's not Standard Usage. If you try parsing it, you'll find it's unsatisfactory.

Not having been brought up where this is a "natural" sentence, it's not something I have ever said. It's really just a way of saying "She left."

Because it's not Standard English, there's no need to learn how it's used and said - you could go through your whole life and not ever hear it spoken.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:52:38 AM

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Romany, I think in writing it should be

She will have left yesterday.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:15:37 AM

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Writing is not separate or different from speech - writing includes the contractions of speech.
It depends on the formality of the writing situation.


One thing that might be OK for a deduction - the conclusion from evidence.

When was she going to leave?...... Ah, yes, here it is.
Her ticket was for the 24th.
So she'll have left yesterday and the journey takes three days, so she'll be arriving tomorrow.


Certainly 'she'll have left already' sounds normal to me for that meaning. Whether this does it is impossible to tell because now I have said it too many times and it all starts to look odd.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:34:28 AM
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Mmm yeah - but that's why I said it probably wouldn't stand up to parsing - there's the occasional instance where it'd sound ok.

But that still isn't THE place: the situation where ONLY "She'll have left.." belongs. "She'd have left yesterday..so she'll be arriving tomorrow" is correct here used as a conditional - we don't know if she DID leave: we know only that she was scheduled/booked or had planned/arranged to do so. I can't think of a situation off-hand where "She'll have left..." would not be a conclusion/opinion rather than a factual statement?
thar
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:56:59 PM

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But looking at it other way round, it is an important structure -
She'll have left
(I can deduce from evidence)
Imparts different information to the listener than
She left
(I am stating this as a fact)

If the grammatical form happens to look like a future perfect about a past event, and that meaning is that it is assumption not fact - well, you do that all the time with other tenses - a ppresent progressive means different things depending on the context.

How you would parse it is another question - whether you parse with the simple grammatical label or that plus its usage in context? I can't remember what exactly it entails. I only remember parsing Latin and Caesar did not make assumptions. Just the facts. Lots of cutting down trees and building ramparts, best as I can remember. Whistle
Reiko07
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:09:16 AM

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Romany wrote:

It sounds perfectly natural to me because it's used in some dialects of English.

But I'm surprised to find it in an English/Japanese dictionary - it's not Standard Usage. If you try parsing it, you'll find it's unsatisfactory.

Not having been brought up where this is a "natural" sentence, it's not something I have ever said. It's really just a way of saying "She left."

Because it's not Standard English, there's no need to learn how it's used and said - you could go through your whole life and not ever hear it spoken.

Thanks, Romany. I'm a bit surprised at your response. Here's a quote from Swan's Practical English Usage, 3rd ed.(p.616):

Quote:

3 certainty

Will can express certainty or confidence about present or future situations.

As I’m sure you will understand, we cannot wait any longer for our order.
Don’t phone them now - they’ll be having dinner.
There's somebody coming up the stairs. ~ That’ll be Emily.
Tomorrow will be cloudy, with some rain.

Will have + past participle refers to the past.

Dear Sir, You will recently have received a form . . .
We can't go and see them now - they’ll have gone to bed.



Romany
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 5:11:16 AM
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Reiko -

OK, you win!Dancing

My pedanticism would never allow me to make a statement like that without a qualifier - 'probably', "may be', 'bound to be': -

"They'll probably be in the middle of dinner."
"That's bound to be Emily coming up the stairs."
"Tomorrow is forecast as a cloudy day, with some rain." (more usual: 'Tomorrow's supposed to be a cloudy day...")

As for the first one, I wouldn't use it at all: "As I'm sure you understand..."

As I said, the usage itself sounds perfectly fine because people commonly use it that way.

However, it's just not a format I ever use: because it's a statement - but not necessarily a true one. (Perhaps I'm overly cautious - when your words are read by the public it becomes automatic that one protects oneself from any kind of misrepresentation.)

THAR - re my use of the word "parsing". We've had two discussion so far about how the verb "to parse" has shifted meaning and it was established that now it isn't used in the way we Brits use it grammatically. So I thought I'd show how much I've been paying attention: I used it to mean "examination/underpinning/investigation/taking it apart and looking at it from all sides.
Too soon?Anxious
Reiko07
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:29:26 PM

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Thanks, Romany and thar.

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