0

Tom says:

I saw a dog I had never seen before running about in the street on its own.

Pete replies:

a. Maybe one of your neighbors bought a new dog that escaped.

b. One of your neighbors might have bought a new dog that escaped.

c. One of your neighbors might have bought a new dog and it escaped.

d. One of your neighbors might have bought a new dog and it might have escaped.

Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct and acceptable in this context?

5
  • They all look OK to me.
    – Peter
    Jul 6, 2020 at 12:33
  • Bought a new dog? Who says that?
    – Lambie
    Jul 6, 2020 at 14:28
  • @Lambie - Someone who has recently lost a dog somehow. Jul 6, 2020 at 15:35
  • @MikeBrockington Well, I would never buy a dog. The shelters are full of dogs that need a home!
    – Lambie
    Jul 6, 2020 at 19:46
  • @Lambie People buy dogs. Personal ethics aside, it's perfectly idiomatic. (I do agree that "bought a new dog" can imply an odd sort of fashion sense to dog ownership)
    – Wehage
    Jul 6, 2020 at 23:15

1 Answer 1

2

The repetition of might in example D is 'unusual' at best. Normally, for someone to say that, I would assume that they didn't believe that this was the correct explanation.

The lack of punctuation in both example A and B, makes them a little ambiguous, but is common enough in spoken language - they could be read as your neighbour buying a dog AFTER it had escaped.

My choice would be a slight adjustment to example C - One of your neighbours might have bought a new dog, and it's escaped.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .