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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Unreal past perfect

    How will we express following expression in English? When someone tells about an unreal past perfect incident.
    For example a person bought a pump for cooler but after few days the pump went bad. The buyer approached the seller and asked him to replace the pump. The seller declined and argued.
    Seller: If this pump would have to have gone bad,it would have happened long before when I inadvertently left it outside my home and it was poured down by the heavy rain whole night.
    The sentence used by me for construction of seller's argument may not be correct. Please tell me if it is correct or not, if not then what would be the right sentence?

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    #2

    Re: Unreal past perfect

    I don't understand the seller's argument. Did the seller leave the pump out in the rain before selling it?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Unreal past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I don't understand the seller's argument. Did the seller leave the pump out in the rain before selling it?
    It seems so. My guess is that this is what the seller meant:

    If this pump had been going to go wrong, it would have happened a long time ago (- when I inadvertently left it outside overnight in the pouring rain).

    Even that, though grammatically fairly sound, seems to be a silly thing to say to a customer who is complaining that the pump malfunctioned soon after purchase.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Unreal past perfect

    Or, "If this pump was going to go wrong, it would have happened long ago ..."
    But that's a small quibble over an unnecessary past perfect.

    Avoid, "If he/she/we/etc. would have ...." It's almost always wrong!

  4. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: Unreal past perfect

    Thank you very much. It turned out a great help.

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