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  1. #1
    Kazuo is offline Member
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    If we told Father the truth, ...

    Hello!

    If we told Father the truth, he never punished us.
    (from a grammar book)

    What does the sentence mean?
    If the sentence were If we told Father the truth, he would never punish us, it would be a familiar one.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: If we told Father the truth, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    If we told Father the truth, he never punished us.
    (from a grammar book)

    What does the sentence mean?
    If the sentence were “If we told Father the truth, he would never punish us”, it would be a familiar one.

    Thanks in advance
    The sentence is correct, but it's not the most colloquial way of saying it. I'd say it means, "As long as we told Father the truth, he'd never punish us."

    The problem with this and your version is that it could refer to the future, whereas the original only refers to the past. But context would normally tell.

  3. #3
    euncu's Avatar
    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Re: If we told Father the truth, ...

    Why is the first letter of "father" is capitalized? and why isn't there "the" before it?

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: If we told Father the truth, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    If we told Father the truth, he never punished us.
    (from a grammar book)

    What does the sentence mean?
    If the sentence were If we told Father the truth, he would never punish us, it would be a familiar one.

    Thanks in advance
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Kazuo.

    (1) I believe that many Americans prefer to capitalize the names of

    relatives when they are a substitute for someone's name.

    (a) I have the 1999 edition of the book with rules for reporters at The

    New York Times, our No. l newspaper.

    (i) It says for "father":

    Lowercase except when it substitutes for a proper name: Ask

    Father to lend you the spatula.

    (2) It seems that here in the United States, you have a choice:

    lowercase or uppercase.

    (a) Like you, I also prefer to uppercase:

    I will always remember Father. (A substitute for his name: I will always

    remember James.)

    ***** Thank you *****

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: If we told Father the truth, ...

    I agree with Parser.

    I call my father "Dad" so mine would have read "As long as we told Dad the truth..."

    I don't call my father "Father" but if I did, the original is how I would write it.

    His "name" (to me) is Dad/Father, so it should be capitalized just like "James" or "Mary."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Kazuo is offline Member
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    Re: If we told Father the truth, ...

    Hello!

    The original sentence was under the heading Assuming a fact
    Then it perhaps mean;
    As we didnt tell Father the truth, he punished us.

    Thank you very much.

  7. #7
    chester_100's Avatar
    chester_100 is offline Member
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    Re: If we told Father the truth, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    If we told Father the truth, he never punished us.
    (from a grammar book)

    What does the sentence mean?
    If the sentence were If we told Father the truth, he would never punish us, it would be a familiar one.

    Thanks in advance
    Hello Kazuo,
    Your sentence is perfectly acceptable.
    We can use adverbials (mostly the clauses made with if, when, whenever) to refer to past time:
    That's categorized under Real Conditions, General Time.

    -If the weather was good, We went to the beach.
    -He took a walk in the park, if he had time.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: If we told Father the truth, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    The original sentence was under the heading Assuming a fact
    Then it perhaps mean;
    As we didnt tell Father the truth, he punished us.

    Thank you very much.
    No, that sentence only refers to one time. To mean habitually, you could say "If we didn't tell Father the truth, he punished us," that is, "Whenever we didn't tell Father the truth, he would punish us".

    [Logic]
    In any case, you can't make that logical inference from the original. You can't take "A implies B" and infer "notA implies notB".
    You can infer "notB implies notA", that is, "If Father did punish us, we must not have told him the truth."
    [/Logic]

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