Hi every one, I am a little confused about that question. I appreciate your help.

" I think people ........ on the moon by the end of the 21st century. Who knows."

a) will live      b) might live      c) will have lived      d) might have lived

That question is on one of longman websites: newhelloforenglish secondary stage.

 http://www.newhelloforegypt.co..._S_03_U03_struct.pdf

Original Post
islam mohamed posted:

" I think people ........ on the moon by the end of the 21st century. Who knows."
a) will live      b) might live      c) will have lived      d) might have lived

Hello, Islam Mohamed, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

The "Who knows" part tells us that the speaker isn't confident, so we can rule out "will live" and "will have lived" from the get-go, since they express confidence.

Between "might live" and "might have lived," only "might live" makes sense. That, I guarantee, is the answer the test makers desire.

"Might have lived" can be rejected because "might have V-ed" has a strong tendency to refer to the past, to a past counterfactual situation.

I myself would not use any of the choices. I'd more naturally use the progressive with "might" or "may." I might also use existential "there":

  • I think people may be living on the moon by the end of the 21st century.
  • I think people might be living on the moon by the end of the 21st century.

  • I think there may be people living on the moon by the end of the 21st Cent.
  • I think there might be people living on the moon by the end of the 21st Cent.

Thanks for explanation, Mr. David. Your forum is a real addition to me. 

" We use may/might + have+ past participle to talk about possible events in the past, present and future" " Advanced grammar in use third edition" P.34 Section E.

Ex. " His maths might have improved by the time the exam comes round."

Why not might have lived works here. I totally agree might be living is best as it expresses a trend in the not too distant future. But may you give me stronger reasons to omit might have lived as a probable answer?

 

islam mohamed posted:

Thanks for explanation, Mr. David.

Hi, Islam Mohamed,

"Explanation" is a count noun, so you need to use "the" before it in this case.

islam mohamed posted:

" We use may/might + have+ past participle to talk about possible events in the past, present and future" " Advanced grammar in use third edition" P.34 Section E.

Ex. " His maths might have improved by the time the exam comes round."

I find that example extremely awkward, and not just because American speakers never use "maths" to refer to math; I find its use of "might have improved" to be truly terrible and would not recommend that sentence to anyone, precisely because "might have V-ed" has a strong tendency to refer to the past, as I have already explained to you. I did NOT say that it was impossible for it not to do so.

islam mohamed posted:
Why not might have lived works here. 

That isn't a grammatical question. When did you begin studying English? You should have said: "Why doesn't 'might have lived' work here?"

islam mohamed posted:
I totally agree might be living is best as it expresses a trend in the not too distant future.

When you refer to words or phrases as words or phrases, you need to put them in quotation marks or italics (or colored lettering or bold lettering) -- something to indicate that you are not using the words you are referring to, but just referring to the words or phrases as words or phrases.

"Might be living" need not refer to the "not too distant future." I was using it to refer to the end of the present century, which is eighty years away. We can even say, "People might be living on Mars one thousand years from now." That is hardly the near future!

islam mohamed posted:
But may you give me stronger reasons to omit might have lived as a probable answer?

No, I have already given you an excellent reason to omit "might have lived." The fact that you, who speak very little English, were able to find a quote with an extremely awkward example from some ESL book that is comfortable with using "might have V-ed" to refer to the future does not in any way change my mind.

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