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    #1

    Post usage of 'if'

    Dear friends,

    "If you were supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you come to the place at a quarter after three, then you are late."

    Please tell me if this sentence has any mistakes. Specifically,
    #1 do we say 'at a quarter after three'?
    #2 is it correct to use 'if + (past tense)..., but + (present simple)..., then + (present simple)...'?

    Thank you!

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    #2

    Re: usage of 'if'

    ----- Not an ESL teacher -----

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear friends,

    "If you were supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you come to the place at a quarter after three, then you are late."

    Please tell me if this sentence has any mistakes. Specifically,
    #1 do we say 'at a quarter after three'?
    #2 is it correct to use 'if + (past tense)..., but + (present simple)..., then + (present simple)...'?

    Thank you!
    I would say:

    Since you were supposed to meet your friend at three o'clock and/but you arrived at a quarter past three, you are definitely late.

    or

    If you are supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock but you arrive at a quarter past three, then you are late.

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    #3

    Re: usage of 'if'

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear friends,

    "If you were supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you come to the place at a quarter after three, then you are late."

    Please tell me if this sentence has any mistakes. Specifically,
    #1 do we say 'at a quarter after three'?
    #2 is it correct to use 'if + (past tense)..., but + (present simple)..., then + (present simple)...'?

    Thank you!
    Your sentence contains an incorrect combination of tenses, and should be amended to:

    "If you were supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you came to the place at a quarter after three, then you would be late."

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    #4

    Post Re: usage of 'if'

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Your sentence contains an incorrect combination of tenses, and should be amended to:

    "If you were supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you came to the place at a quarter after three, then you would be late."
    Dear philo2009,

    Is it correct if it is modified as "If you were supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you've come to the place at a quarter after three, then you are late." or "If you were supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you'd come to the place at a quarter after three, then you were late."

    Thank you !

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    #5

    Re: usage of 'if'

    Not really: if you were going to continue in the present perfect (a form of present tense), then you would naturally start also with a present tense (are), not 'were'.

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    #6

    Re: usage of 'if'

    "If you are supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you come to the place at a quarter after three, then you are late."
    I think this would also be correct, and it changes just one word. Do you agree philo2009? I feel it is a natural way to talk about conditional events.

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    #7

    Re: usage of 'if'

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    "If you are supposed to meet a friend at three o'clock, but you come to the place at a quarter after three, then you are late."
    I think this would also be correct, and it changes just one word. Do you agree philo2009? I feel it is a natural way to talk about conditional events.
    Yes: you have turned it into a standard zero conditional (albeit of a specific, rather than a general, type).

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