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  1. #1
    wowenglish1 is offline Senior Member
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    Default What if he got lost?

    I wonder if there is any difference among 3 sentences.
    1. I can't find my Kitten. What if he is lost?
    2. I can't find my Kitten. What if he was lost?
    3. I can't find my Kitten. What if he got lost?
    Last edited by wowenglish1; 17-Oct-2011 at 07:37.

  2. #2
    nolen15 is offline Newbie
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    Wink Re: What if he got lost?

    1. I can't find my Kitten. What if he is lost?
    2. I can't find my Kitten. What he was lost?
    3. I can't find my Kitten. What if he got lost?
    They are all asking the question about the cat being lost, but there tenses seem to differ. 1. "What if he is lost," assumes that the cat is still, present tense, lost, 2. "What if he was lost," states that the cat at some point was lost and is found, and finally 3. "What if he got lost," is telling that he is near and had gotten lost but is now safe.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What if he got lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I wonder if there is any difference among between these 3 sentences.
    1. I can't find my Kitten. What if he is lost?
    2. I can't find my Kitten. What he was lost?
    3. I can't find my Kitten. What if he got lost?
    The speakers is considering these possibilities.:

    1. The cat may be lost at the moment of speaking, or in the future.
    2. The may may, hypothetically, be lost at the moment of speaking, or in the future (were is a possible alternative to was in this sense).
    OR: The cat may have got lost in the past.
    3. Similar to #2.

    In #1 and #2, BE lost can refer to the cat failing to find its way home or to somebody forgetting where they put the cat.
    In none of these is there any indication of where the cat is now.

    If that sounds confusing, remember that the intended meaning will be clear in context.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What if he got lost?

    Note that "kitten" does not need a capital letter.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if he got lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Note that "kitten" does not need a capital letter.
    I thought that nole might have called his/her cat 'Kitten'. At least, that's my story.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What if he got lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I thought that nole might have called his/her cat 'Kitten'. At least, that's my story.
    On that basis, how do you know it's a cat?

  7. #7
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: What if he got lost?

    After all, she's* got a capital K. In an Ian Fleming novel, she'd be a woman!
    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I wonder if there is any difference among 3 sentences.
    1. I can't find my Kitten. What if he is lost?
    2. I can't find my Kitten. What if he was lost?
    3. I can't find my Kitten. What if he got lost?
    b

    PS Sounds like a she to me. Men get called things like 'Tiger'. (I'm not condoning it, just saying...)

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