How does one accidentally tear a poem apart?
Student or Learner
I am going to make up an example below.
(ex) Tom accidentally tore his favorite poem apart. Fortunately, he noticed it before dumping it. He is very sad about that. I say to him, "At least, you still have the poem even though it has been destroyed. That's better than if _____ into the garbage can."
I am a little unsure about the correct tense to use for the phrase in red. I have a few possible ways of filling in the blank.
(1) if you dumped it into the garbage can
(2) if you had dumped it into the garbage can
(3) if it is dumped into the garbage can
(4) if it has been dumped into the garbage can
(5) if it had been dumped into the garbage can
They all sound OK to me. Do you think they all work? Please help me. Thank you very much.
I would say 'That's better than having dumped it into the garbage can', but I am not a teacher.
I would use 2 or 5. Matthew's suggestion also works.