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Thread: if - clause

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    #1

    if - clause

    Dear teachers,

    Want do you think of these combinations of tenses, are they possible? If yes, why?

    1) It is possible to buy grape plants at this place if you wanted to start your own vineyard.



    2) If you asked an average native English speaker about the subjunctive, he will most likely give you a blank stare.


    Many thanks,
    Hela

  1. Nahualli
    Guest
    #2

    Re: if - clause

    Quote Originally Posted by hela
    Dear teachers,

    Want do you think of these combinations of tenses, are they possible? If yes, why?

    1) It is possible to buy grape plants at this place if you wanted to start your own vineyard.



    2) If you asked an average native English speaker about the subjunctive, he will most likely give you a blank stare.


    Many thanks,
    Hela
    The basic rule of thumb is that you should only combine tenses if you're demonstrating several actions in different time frames or of different progressions. Neither of the sentences you have here are divergent in their meanings, they're just long sentences.

    "I think in this case it would be better if your sentences were in the same tense"

    as opposed to

    "I think in this case it would be better if your sentences are in the same tense"

    -Nah-

  2. Nahualli
    Guest
    #3

    Re: if - clause

    Quote Originally Posted by hela
    Dear teachers,

    Want do you think of these combinations of tenses, are they possible? If yes, why?

    1) It is possible to buy grape plants at this place if you wanted to start your own vineyard.



    2) If you asked an average native English speaker about the subjunctive, he will most likely give you a blank stare.


    Many thanks,
    Hela
    I'm going to answer you more directly. How I would write your sentences would be

    1) It is possible to buy grape plants at this place if you want to start your own vineyard.

    2) If you ask an average native English speaker about the subjunctive, he will most likely give you a blank stare

    OR

    If you asked an average native English speaker about the subjunctive, he would most likely give you a blank stare.

    ** which, by the way, is true of native speakers of pretty much any language**

    :) The subjunctive is a tense we use more often (on average) than the future tense, yet hardly anyone recognizes its importance or its ubiquitousness

    -Nah-

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