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    #1

    If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    This is not my homework.

    If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES place, we would see a grand sight.

    Which will be the feasible choice?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    Zkiller, please curb your enthusiasm a little and wait for at least a couple of native speakers/teachers to reply before attempting to respond to another learner's question.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    Sahi, I would choose the past tense "took".

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    I'd choose the subjunctive 'took'. If you use the past tense 'took', it would have to read: "If it had been possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK place, we would have seen a grand sight."

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    #5

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd choose the subjunctive 'took'. If you use the past tense 'took', it would have to read: "If it had been possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK place, we would have seen a grand sight."
    Not A Teacher

    Could it depend on whether Sahil Dhankhar is writing about a past eruption like studying the Mount St Helens eruption or looking forward to a possible future eruption such as the one expected in the near future in the Canaries?

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    #6

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil Dhankhar View Post
    This is not my homework.

    If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES place, we would see a grand sight.

    Which will be the feasible choice?
    If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions is taking place, we would see a grand sight.
    If it is possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions is taking place, we will see a grand sight.
    If it had been possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions was taking place, we would have seen a grand sight.

    I much prefer the continuous in these sentences.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    emsr2d2,

    according to your reply:- "If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions is taking place, we wouldsee a grand sight." , it is clear that when talking about unfulfilled wish like situations of present, "were" is used in the introductory clause. Therefore it is clear from my question that it is a case of present unfulfilled wish instead of past. still some respected members chose the use of "took" (past tense) but you used "is taking" (present tense).

    I want to ask humbly, which one is correct ?

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    #8

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    I would not call "took" in that relative clause subjunctive. The subjunctive verb in the sentence is "were". For me, "took" is just the past tense referring to the time of the volcano eruption.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil Dhankhar View Post
    Therefore it is clear from my question that it is a case of present unfulfilled wish instead of past. still some respected members chose the use of "took" (past tense) but you used "is taking" (present tense).

    I want to ask humbly, which one is correct ?
    One occasionally respected member suggested the subjunctive. It can't be the past tense (as further evidenced by ems's post). I think you have subjunctive in Hindi, so I guess you understand the concept. Your analysis is correct. It's an unfulfilled wish in the present, and hence we use the subjunctive mood of the present tense, ie. 'took'.

    It can't be the past tense because the following is not grammatical: "If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK place (last week), we would see a grand sight."

    Everyone seems to understand that 'were' is subjunctive in: "If I were you, I would be embarrassed". But some people miss it if the verb isn't 'were'. Eg. "If a volcanic eruption took place, it would be awesome." I suppose that's because many lessons on the past subjunctive seem to use 'were' as the only example.

    Ask yourself, if 1 is subjunctive, why are the rest past tense?:
    1. If I were an astronaut, would you be impressed?
    2. If I took your bicycle, would you be angry?
    3. If an eruption took place, would you be surprised?
    4. If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions took place, we would see a grand sight.

    http://www.grammaring.com/past-subjunctive
    ... and others
    Last edited by Raymott; 29-Mar-2015 at 19:54.

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    #10

    Re: If it were possible to go near when one of the volcanic eruptions TOOK/TAKES...

    But the clause was not "if an eruption took place" it was "when an eruption took place". Not the same.

    When the eruption took place, I was in Rio. (not subjunctive)

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