# Thread: Conditional sentences and time points

1. Junior Member
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Oct 2011
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## Conditional sentences and time points

I am not sure that I construct correctly such sentences with respect to the use of 'have/had'.

'if it started moving at 5 pm it probably arrived to the point A at 5.10 pm.'
'if it started moving at 5 pm it will probably arrive to the point A at 5.10 pm.'
'if it started moving at 5 pm it has already arrived to the point A.'

'if it started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived to the point A at 5.10 pm.'
'if it had started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived to the point A at 5.10 pm.'

2. ## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

Originally Posted by Explorer
'i If it started moving at 5 pm it probably arrived to the at point A at 5.10 pm.' Said after 5.10.
'if it started moving at 5 pm it will probably arrive to the point A at 5.10 pm.' Said between 5.01 and 5.09.
'if it started moving at 5 pm it has already arrived to the point A.' Said after 5.00.

'if it started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived to the point A at 5.10 pm.' Said after 5.10.
'if it had started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived to the point A at 5.10 pm.' Said after 5.10.
All of the tense/aspect combinations are possible.

3. Junior Member
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## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

1. Do I understand right that
'if it started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived at point A at 5.10 pm.'
implies that the speaker knows that 'it' has already started its motion?

2. I think in 'it had started moving at 5 pm' 'it' can be referred both to 'had' and 'started'. So, can this sentence in a certain context imply that 'it' really started moving before 5 pm ?

4. ## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

Originally Posted by Explorer
1. Do I understand right that
'if it started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived at point A at 5.10 pm.'
implies that the speaker knows that 'it' has already started its motion?
Not necessarily. It depends on what information had been provided before, and whether the speaker accepts the information as true or not.

2. I think in 'it had started moving at 5 pm' 'it' can b
e referred both to 'had' and 'started'.
I don't understand what you mean here. 'had' and 'started' are the two component parts of one verb form, the past perfect.
So, can this sentence in a certain context imply that 'it' really started moving before 5 pm ?
That interpretation is not impossible, but it is unlikely. For that situation, we would be more likely to say 'by 5 pm.'
5

5. Junior Member
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## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

But then what is the difference between 'it had started moving at 5 pm' and 'it started moving at 5 pm'?

6. ## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

Originally Posted by Explorer
But then what is the difference between 'it had started moving at 5 pm' and 'it started moving at 5 pm'?
I have paraphrased the possible meaning(s) of your sentences in red.:

If it started moving at 5 pm it probably arrived at point A at 5.10 pm.' Said after 5.10.
Meaning 1. There are two possibilities: it started moving at 5, and it didn't start moving at 5.

Meaning 2. The speaker accepts that it started moving at 5 pm.
In both these cases, the consequence of a (1) possible or (2) conceded start is a probable arrival at point A ten minutes later.

If it started moving at 5 pm it will probably arrive at point A at 5.10 pm.' Said between 5.01 and 5.09. Very similar to the previous situations, except that the probable arrival time is still in the future at the moment of speaking.

If it started moving at 5 pm it has already arrived at point A.' Said after 5.00. Similar to the previous situations, except that the speaker is more certain of the subsequent arrival.

If it started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived at point A at 5.10 pm.' Said after 5.10. Once again, the first clause is as before. In the second clause, the speaker is expressing a less then absolute certainty of the subsequent arrival.

If it had started moving at 5 pm it would have arrived at point A at 5.10 pm.Said after 5.10. This one is different. It is a hypothetical, counterfactual statement. The speaker knows that it did not start moving at 5pm, and therefore did not arrive at point A at 5.10.

7. Junior Member
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## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

And two questions more.

Has 'already' any influence in constructions with the past perfect like

'when he arrived the bus had left.'

'By 5 pm I had done the work ...'

And is it correct to say:

'It would be good if he rang at 5 pm.' ('now' - 3 pm)
'It would be good if he sent the report tomorrow.'

8. ## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

Originally Posted by Explorer
Has 'already' any influence in constructions with the past perfect like

'when he arrived the bus had left.'

'By 5 pm I had done the work ...'

'Already' may suggest some surprise that the things had happened by the times stated.

And is it correct to say:

'It would be good if he rang at 5 pm.' ('now' - 3 pm)
'It would be good if he sent the report tomorrow.'

As they stand, these are probably hypothetical conditional utterances. If gentle requests were intended, they would be better as:

'It would be good if he would/could ring at 5 pm.' ('now' - 3 pm)
'It would be good if he would/could send the report tomorrow.'
5

9. Junior Member
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## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

Thank you very much for the answers.

But if 'alredy' is present in a sentence, will it be correct, 'At 5 pm I had already done the work ...', or is the right way to say 'By 5 pm I had already done the work ...' ?

10. Junior Member
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## Re: Conditional sentences and time points

In fact, the last sentence is in the focus of this post, is it correct?

If he has relations with this company, he can...
If he has had relations with this company for two years, he can...

If he had relations with this company, he could...
If he had had relations with this company for two years, he could...

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