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  1. #11
    engee30's Avatar
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    Default Re: If I were/had been a bird

    Quote Originally Posted by Monticello View Post
    If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon.
    Hey, Monticello. Why ever did you choose to provide Snappy with a conditional sentence concerning someone's present or future action instead of one dealing with the past?

  2. #12
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    Default Re: If I were/had been a bird

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    Hey, Monticello. Why ever did you choose to provide Snappy with a conditional sentence concerning someone's present or future action instead of one dealing with the past?
    Hi engee30,

    I'm not sure what exactly your question is getting at here?

    Is your question a rhetorical one? - or are you really looking for a response? If the latter, rather than respond to you outside any meaning you intend, could you be more specific here? Please help.

  3. #13
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    Cool Re: If I were/had been a bird

    Quote Originally Posted by Monticello View Post
    Hi engee30,

    I'm not sure what exactly your question is getting at here?

    Is your question a rhetorical one? - or are you really looking for a response? If the latter, rather than respond to you outside any meaning you intend, could you be more specific here? Please help.
    Snappy's initial concern was:

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Which is natural?

    If I were a bird, I could have flown to you at that time.
    If I had been a bird, I could have flown to you at that time.
    In both sentences, we have could have flown to you at that time. This clause refers back to hypothetical past time.
    In your sentence, If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon, there's no such reference present. It merely states that if you were the king (hypothetical present time), you could have someone thrown in the dungeon (hypothetical present or future time).
    I thought you should have written something like this, so that your sentence could correspond to Snappy's initial sentences:
    If I were the king, I could have had you thrown in the dungeon (at that time).
    vs
    If I were a bird, I could have flown to you at that time.

  4. #14
    Monticello's Avatar
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    Default Re: If I were/had been a bird

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    Snappy's initial concern was:



    In both sentences, we have could have flown to you at that time. This clause refers back to hypothetical past time.
    In your sentence, If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon, there's no such reference present. It merely states that if you were the king (hypothetical present time), you could have someone thrown in the dungeon (hypothetical present or future time).
    I thought you should have written something like this, so that your sentence could correspond to Snappy's initial sentences:
    If I were the king, I could have had you thrown in the dungeon (at that time).
    vs
    If I were a bird, I could have flown to you at that time.
    Hi engee30,
    Thanks for your clarification. Your question makes much more sense to me now.

    First, please realize that I am not the author of the following sentence:
    If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monticello
    Once again, please let me cite a wiki article (simply for its ready online access, and not for any particular preference as an authoritative source) as to why: Conditional sentence. Here, in the discussion about irrealis conditions (i.e., those conditions known to be false), you will find the following example that equates directly to both 2006's example, as well as yours:
    If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon.
    (If you haven't yet reviewed at least the section on irrealis conditions in the above linked article, you might want to now so that you can follow my meaning.)

    So I was focusing and commenting only on the parallel subjunctive/conditional construction: "If I were X, I could have Y." that is evident in both sentences:

    wiki: If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon.
    Snappy: If I were a bird, I could have flown to you at that time.

    Admittedly, the above parallel ends abruptly when Snappy introduces the prepositional phrase "at that time," which obviously has prompted your suggestion (which, by the way, makes perfect sense ) to make the adjustment to the wiki article's example (once again, not mine) "have had you thrown ..., etc."

    capice?

  5. #15
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    Smile Re: If I were/had been a bird

    Quote Originally Posted by Monticello View Post
    Hi engee30,
    Thanks for your clarification. Your question makes much more sense to me now.

    First, please realize that I am not the author of the following sentence:
    If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon.



    (If you haven't yet reviewed at least the section on irrealis conditions in the above linked article, you might want to now so that you can follow my meaning.)

    So I was focusing and commenting only on the parallel subjunctive/conditional construction: "If I were X, I could have Y." that is evident in both sentences:

    wiki: If I were [colloq. was] the king, I could have you thrown in the dungeon.
    Snappy: If I were a bird, I could have flown to you at that time.

    Admittedly, the above parallel ends abruptly when Snappy introduces the prepositional phrase "at that time," which obviously has prompted your suggestion (which, by the way, makes perfect sense ) to make the adjustment to the wiki article's example (once again, not mine) "have had you thrown ..., etc."

    capice?
    Yep, everything's clear now.

  6. #16
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Default Re: If I were/had been a bird

    It has passed a few months, but I am still confused.

    1. Please let me know if my understanding is correct.

    a) If I had been a bird, I could have flown to you at that time. (This is grammatically correct.)
    b) If I were a bird, I could have flown to you at that time. (Most native speakers do not think that this sentence sounds right, because the tenses are mixed.)
    c) If I were rich, I would have bought the new PC on sale last week. (The tenses are mixed but this is okay, because people cannot be rich one week and poor the following week.)

    2. If the above 3) is correct, what about the following sentence?

    If I were a bird, I could have flown to her yesterday.

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