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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #1

    if what’s happened to me had happened to you

    ‘Well, I bet you’d be in a temper if what’s happened to me had happened to you. As a matter of fact I’m in a damned awkward situation, and if any of you fellows can give me any advice how to deal with it I’d be grateful.’
    (W.S. Maugham; The Facts of Life)

    Is it possible to say "if what's happened to me happened to you."?

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: if what’s happened to me had happened to you

    Why ever should it not be??

  2. suprunp's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: if what’s happened to me had happened to you

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Why ever should it not be??
    I would think that the speaker tried to convey a different thought than I would by saying "if what's happened to me happened to you", and, therefore, it would not be possible to say so in this particular situation.

    Did he suggest that what had happened to him could have never happened to them?

    Thanks.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: if what’s happened to me had happened to you

    I doubt if speakers in that situation in real life would be over-particular about tenses, but, if they were, any of the following would be possible.

    I bet you’d be in a temper if what happened to me happened to you.
    I bet you’d be in a temper if what has happened to me happened to you.
    I bet you’d be in a temper if what happened to me had happened to you.
    I bet you’d be in a temper if what has happened to me had happened to you.

    In the first two, the speaker is thinking of a something happening in the future to his audience; in the second two, of something happening in the past.

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