- For Teachers
what about the following sentence
if i were tall i would have joined the army
is it wrong or not
thanks in advance
Can I say :
If I had been tall , I'd like to join the army.
Last edited by Fleur de mort; 10-Aug-2007 at 00:24.
No. Correct is: If I were tall, I'd like to join the army. (the sequence of tenses)
But were for a plural and was for a singular .
why you used were?
It's called the subjunctive mood many, or most, native English speakers don't use it. They will say, "If I was tall, I'd join the army."
Most editors, teachers and other judges of writing don't consider it an error if you fail to use the subjunctive mood.
It would be instructive to summarize the various possibilities as follows:
"If I were tall, I would have joined the army." - by Joo Past if-clause + would+have+participle main clause = Type V Mixed Conditional (mixing II & III) expressing unrealized state.
"If I had been tall , I'd like to join the army." - by Fleur Past perfect if-clause + modal main clause = ?? Conditional Y not an acceptable conditional sentence as indicated by Bianca .
We could turn this into a Type III by making the main clause into "I would have liked to ..."
"If I were tall, I would join the army." - by Bianca. Past if-clause + past conditional clause = Type II Conditional expressing perceived state of impossibility or ‘contrary to fact’ condition.
"If I was tall, I'd join the army." - by Mykwyner. Past if-clause + past conditional clause = Type II Conditional expressing perceived state of impossibility or ‘contrary to fact’ condition.
Both of these are fine to me, but express different things about the person's height. 'If I had been tall' suggests that at that particular time, the person was not tall and they could have grown since. 'If I were tall' suggests that the height remains unchanged and not sufficient for army purposes.If I were tall, I would have joined the army
If I had been tall, I would have joined the army.
Conditionals can be tricky and don't always follow the set patterns people are taught; meaning can change them.