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    #1

    had been taken/were taken

    Hello friends,

    I have a question for you

    What is the difference between these two sentences?

    If the necessary precautions were taken right at the beginning we wouldn't be in this difficult state at present

    If the necessary precautions had been taken right at the beginning we wouldn't be in this difficult state at present?

    By the way instead of "we wouldn't be in this difficult state at present" can I say "we wouldn't be doing this at present"?

    Thanks

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had been taken/were taken

    As the necessary precautions were not taken, this is correct:

    If the necessary precautions had been taken right at the beginning we wouldn't be in this difficult state at present?


    By the way instead of "we wouldn't be in this difficult state at present" can I say "we wouldn't be doing this at present"?

    Yes.

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    #3

    Re: had been taken/were taken

    Wait I don't understand which one is correct you say?

    were taken or had been taken?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: had been taken/were taken

    Quote Originally Posted by egerol1 View Post
    Wait I don't understand which one is correct you say?

    were taken or had been taken?
    If the necessary precautions had been taken right at the beginning we wouldn't be in this difficult state at present?

    is correct - as I wrote in post #2.

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    #5

    Re: had been taken/were taken

    What if I say:"This is where we could have been if we hadn't stopped for dinner."

    Would the meaning change if I said This is where we could be at the present if we hadn't stopped for dinner.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: had been taken/were taken

    Quote Originally Posted by egerol1 View Post
    What if I say:"This is where we could have been if we hadn't stopped for dinner."

    Would the meaning change if I said This is where we could be at the present if we hadn't stopped for dinner.
    I would say yes. For example:

    You are on a long drive with a friend, from London to Scotland. You started your journey at 4pm and you stopped for dinner at 6pm.

    At 10pm you stop for a coffee. You get out a map and point to Liverpool and say "This is where we could be (now) if we hadn't stopped for dinner."

    or

    At 10pm you stop for a coffee. You get out a map and point to Manchester and say "This is where we could have been (by 8pm) if we hadn't stopped for dinner."

    Where we could be = where we could be right now
    Where we could have been = where we could have been at a point earlier in time.

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