Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: grammar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default grammar

    what about the following sentence

    if i were tall i would have joined the army

    is it wrong or not

    thanks in advance
    joo

  2. #2
    bianca is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Swedish
      • Home Country:
      • Sweden
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,044
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by joo abadir View Post
    what about the following sentence

    If I had been tall I would have joined the army.

    is it wrong or not

    thanks in advance
    joo
    ...

    or: If I were tall, I would join the army.

    depending on the context.
    Last edited by bianca; 09-Aug-2007 at 21:09.

  3. #3
    Fleur de mort Guest

    Default Re: grammar

    Can I say :
    If I had been tall , I'd like to join the army.
    Last edited by Fleur de mort; 09-Aug-2007 at 23:24.

  4. #4
    bianca is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Swedish
      • Home Country:
      • Sweden
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,044
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammar

    No. Correct is: If I were tall, I'd like to join the army. (the sequence of tenses)

  5. #5
    Fleur de mort Guest

    Default Re: grammar

    But were for a plural and was for a singular .
    why you used were?

  6. #6
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,047
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammar

    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.

  7. #7
    Buddhaheart is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    434
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammar

    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.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,003
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammar

    If I were tall, I would have joined the army
    If I had been tall, I would have joined the army.
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    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.
    thanks editor for your clarification

    I came to realize this difference after doing alot of search

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,003
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: grammar

    Conditionals can be tricky and don't always follow the set patterns people are taught; meaning can change them.

Similar Threads

  1. Is there a grammar of spoken English?
    By M56 in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2009, 00:58
  2. Complex english grammar
    By shivam in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-Oct-2007, 04:57
  3. Complex english grammar
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-May-2007, 08:03
  4. Prescriptive grammar and Descriptive grammar
    By zoobinshid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2005, 13:25
  5. corrections help
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21-Feb-2003, 17:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •