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    #1

    Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    I'm referring to Benidorm, Season 2, Episode 1 (Jacqueline):

    This structure:

    If it were me who had picked up that horrible thing swimming in the pool, I wouldn't have come back.


    This sentence sounds (and looks) strange. I am used to standard 2nd and 3rd, as well as mixed, conditionals.

    Is this sentence grammatically correct?

    Massimo

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    #2

    Re: Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    I'd use the subjunctive in if it were me, as the character did, because it's an assertion contrary to fact. I'd also follow it with the conditional would.

    Some grammarians still try to convince Anglophones that English has no disjunctive pronoun and they should say if it were I. Practically nobody actually says that, though, which provides said grammarians lots of satisfying teeth-gnashing.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 14-Jan-2016 at 20:54. Reason: Who am I to argue with Wikipedia? It's apparently a disjunct*ive* pronoun.
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    #3

    Re: Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    So is it that a valid grammatical manoeuvre?

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    #4

    Re: Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    I had never heard of 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals till I joined this forum a few weeks ago. As a native Anglophone, I just used them.

    Now I've read up on them here and I may understand your confusion. It appears that if it were me is an example of the 2nd conditional. The page I linked to says "...the TENSE is past, but we are talking about the present...."

    Your sentence, If it were me who had picked up that horrible thing swimming in the pool, I wouldn't have come back, may look like it's an example of the past tense (requiring the 3rd conditional) because who had picked up that horrible thing is in the simple past. If you simplify the sentence I think you'll see it's really 2nd conditional: If it were me, I wouldn't have come back.

    Does that help?
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    #5

    Re: Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    My confusion is, that both the incident in the pool was over a year ago and the arriving at the hotel was in the past and both were real events.

    Is this an invalid use of a second condition if clause?

    Shouldn't it be the 3rd conditional instead? If it had been me, I wouldn't have come back.

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    #6

    Re: Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    As another example:

    If there was/were an avalanche, we would take the diversion (we don't know if there is, but this is what we would do IF...)

    If there were an avalanche, we took the diversion.

    Is this a case of sounding correct to some people (particularly posh people)?

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    #7

    Re: Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    Quote Originally Posted by mscola View Post
    If there was/were an avalanche, we would take the diversion (we don't know if there is, but this is what we would do IF...)
    If there were an avalanche, we took the diversion.

    Is this a case of sounding correct to some people (particularly posh people)?
    Only the first is correct. Only the conditional can follow if there were, as far as I can imagine.
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    #8

    Re: Question about 2nd / 3rd conditional mix.

    Quote Originally Posted by mscola View Post
    My confusion is, that both the incident in the pool was over a year ago and the arriving at the hotel was in the past and both were real events.

    Is this an invalid use of a second condition if clause?

    Shouldn't it be the 3rd conditional instead? If it had been me, I wouldn't have come back.
    You could say it that way, but the other is also acceptable. The subjunctive makes the proposal more speculative. It doesn't matter whether the action happened a thousand years ago or last week; the character is imagining their reaction without respect to time.
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