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Thread: mixed tenses

  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default mixed tenses

    "Sometimes a past simple tense is used with "if" where a past perfect would be normal."

    1)"If I had the the money I would have been surfing in New Zealand."

    OR

    2)"If I knew you were coming I would have baked a cake."
    Last edited by ostap77; 21-Dec-2010 at 14:04.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post

    1)"If I had the the money I would have been surfing in New Zealand."

    OR

    2)"If I knew you were coming I would have baked a cake."
    #1 is just about possible. The speaker may be suggesting that he is permanently without money.
    #2, IMO, requires if I had known.

  3. #3
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    #1 is just about possible. The speaker may be suggesting that he is permanently without money.
    #2, IMO, requires if I had known.
    These examples are from the grammar text-book Michael Swan "Practical English Usage"

    3)"If I had the money with me I would have bought you one."

    OR

    4)"If I didn't have my walking boots on I think I would have really hurt my foot."

    In both of these the pas perfect would be OK.
    Last edited by ostap77; 21-Dec-2010 at 14:33.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    "If I Knew You Were Coming I"d Have Baked a Cake." Certainly incorrect, but this was the title of American singer Georgia Gibbs's first big hit in the early '50's. Perhaps you can find it on YouTube.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    These examples are from the grammar text-book Michael Swan "Practical English Usage"

    3)"If I had the money with me I would have bought you one."

    OR

    4)"If I didn't have my walking boots on I think I would have really hurt my foot."

    In both of these the pas perfect would be OK.
    I have to say that I disagree with the above, IMO #3 should be "If I had had the money..."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    I agree with bhaisahab. I'd have a past perfect in #4, too.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I agree with bhaisahab. I'd have a past perfect in #4, too.
    I was going to include #4 and then I realised that a case could be made for it. If you and I were walking in the mountains and I stubbed my foot against a rock, I might say "If I didn't have my walking boots on, I think I would have really hurt my foot".

  8. #8
    crazYgeeK is offline Member
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I have to say that I disagree with the above, IMO #3 should be "If I had had the money..."
    Did you mean the author Michael Swan was wrong in his grammar textbook ?
    I really don't understand why it can't be correct ?
    As far as I know the grammatical structure using in that sentence is fine, I was taught three types of IF statement and don't know the exceptions in making sentences following these structures.
    Could you please make it clear ?
    Thank you so much !

  9. #9
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    Did you mean the author Michael Swan was wrong in his grammar textbook ?
    I really don't understand why it can't be correct ?
    As far as I know the grammatical structure using in that sentence is fine, I was taught three types of IF statement and don't know the exceptions in making sentences following these structures.
    Could you please make it clear ?
    Thank you so much !
    3)"If I had the money with me I would have bought you one."
    "If I had the money, I would buy you one" would be correct. "If I had the money (now), I would buy you one" (now). "If I had the money (present tense, now), I would have bought you one" (past, then) This is not logical. However, "If I had had the money (past, then), I would have bought you one" (past, then) is perfectly logical.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: mixed tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    3)"If I had the money with me I would have bought you one."
    "If I had the money, I would buy you one" would be correct. "If I had the money (now), I would buy you one" (now). "If I had the money (present tense, now), I would have bought you one" (past, then) This is not logical. However, "If I had had the money (past, then), I would have bought you one" (past, then) is perfectly logical.
    The above mentioned book would be incorrect?

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