From a book titled "Medical Statistics from Scratch":

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Can we use would have been caused instead? Like this:

Now ask the question, ‘What is the probability that if you chose one of these 75 patients at random, their injury will have been caused by crushing?’.

After all, chose is in the past tense. We often form conditionals with Past Tense + "would have been".

Or is the fact that the data table is presented to the reader makes will have been the only correct option?

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    chose isn't processed as a simple past tense, but as the backshift because of If. It is semantically equivalent to were to choose. The injury is a given. The result of the condition (the randomness of the selection) is the probability of the cause of definite injury. If you were to choose an injured patient at random, what is the probability that their injury will have been caused by crushing? Dec 28, 2016 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Short answer, yes you can use "would".

However in this case you are talking about actual and not hypothetical victims of accidents. If you select one at random the victim will have had some kind of injury -- there is no question.

So "will" is better suited for this, as it seems to be First Conditional and not Third Conditional.

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