Tom could have started work again only if he had apologized to the manager.

Does this sentence imply he didn't apologize? Thanks!

  • Yes, this sentence certainly does. – Lucian Sava Apr 14 at 19:41
  • Thanks a lot, Lucian! – Muhammad Anwar Apr 14 at 20:10

It means one of two things. Because he could start work only if he had apologised, then either it's an explanation of why he didn't start work (and thus used when he hasn't), or it's pointing out that logically he must have apologised if he has started work.

It makes sense and is natural in either circumstance, though the former is more likely absent context. However, the second would turn up in a scenario where people are trying to work out what had happened in the past - they might be using the fact he went back to work as evidence that the apology must have happened.

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