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I am writing an article about the judicial system and why prisons are not the best solution to deter crime. The "better way" I mention in the following examples is one that could supersede incarceration. I hope the context is clear enough.

1- All this advancement and you would have thought they would come up with a better way of doing this.

2-All this advancement and you would have thought they would have come up with a better way of doing this.

3-All this advancement and you would think they would have come up with a better way of doing this.

4-All this advancement and you would think they had come up with a better way of doing this.

I first went with 1 instinctually, but later thought 3 was the better choice since "would have thought" in this sense is used predominantly with "I" as opposed to "would think" which is almost exclusively used (as far as I know) with "you" or "one". Further pondering led me to 2 and 4 which also sounded correct to me. What I'm trying to convey is that the legal system is very primitive compared to our advancement in other areas such as technology.

I would appreciate it if you could provide me with an answer that would help clarify one or more of the sentences I have included are correct or even idiomatic. Which one would you choose and why? DO you have a better way of expressing this idea?

  • I would pick #3 from your examples as the best sentence. #1 and #2 are too wordy. #4 is not grammatically correct. I would also consider using "we" instead of "they" if you are making a broad point about society (I can't tell from the context if there is a specific group of people you are referring to as "they"). – SarahT Apr 4 at 23:11

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