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Which form should be used? Why? Both are about past situations.

In ancient China, you might be beheaded for a casual remark about the royal family.

In ancient China, you might have been beheaded for a casual remark about the royal family.

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  • 3
    I would say that either is possible. Jul 12, 2022 at 7:40
  • 1
    I would prefer 'a person' or 'someone' to 'you', since ancient China was a long time ago. Jul 12, 2022 at 11:22
  • @MichaelHarvey Couldn't "you" be used to refer to people in general?
    – Apollyon
    Jul 12, 2022 at 13:38

1 Answer 1

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Both are OK:

In ancient China, you might be beheaded for a casual remark about the royal family.

In ancient China, you might have been beheaded for a casual remark about the royal family.

FWIW, I would choose "could" (past tense of "can") instead of "might":

In China, you can be beheaded for....

In ancient China, you could be beheaded for...

In ancient China, you could have been beheaded for....

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