Student or Learner
I know conditionals, but this sentence boggles my mind
The boy would have behaved in a different way if he were selfish
Why don't we use if he had been selfish?
I thought the same way, but a bloody Russian book gives such examples as correct ones. I've never seen this kind of sentences before! So they are incorrect then?
Yes. The example you cited is incorrect.
Is there such thing? What does it mean then?
Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker;
I'm sorry for poking my nose into your discussion but the example given
is correct. It's an example of mixed conditional (second/third) not so common perhaps but still used and correct.
Not being selfish is a permanent feature of the boy and it is related to the past event.
bhaisahab was quicker
Last edited by Jaskin; 09-Sep-2010 at 14:40.
Bhaisahab is correct, as is Jaskin. This type of conditional is not that uncommon. Sorry I missed it.
The boy who is not selfish behaved in this way.
If the boy were selfish he would have behaved in a different way. (were ~ the past subjunctive here)
If I be (that) bad I wouldn't have helped you last week. (In my opinion I am the same person that I was before) be ~ the present subjunctive here
It is not natural to say If I had been bad I wouldn't have ..
Last edited by e2e4; 09-Sep-2010 at 15:41.