# Thread: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached ...

1. ## I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached ...

I am starting this thread because this long thread is confusing me.

Assuming I don't know whether Tom turned left or right and whether he arrived or got lost, can I say the following?

1. 'If he bore left after he reached the fork, he got lost.'
2. 'If he bore right after he reached the fork, he would have arrived.'

In this post, emsr2d2 told me to use 'If he had borne', but then it denotes that I actually know whether he turned left or not and whether he arrived or not when I actually don't.

2. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Originally Posted by Matthew Wai
Assuming I don't know whether Tom turned left or right and whether he arrived or got lost, can I say the following?
1. 'If he bore left after he reached the fork, he got lost.'
2. 'If he bore right after he reached the fork, he would have arrived.'
Not a teacher

No, you can say only the first one because it constitutes one possible event while there are two.
If he bore left [after he reached the fork], he got lost AND If he bore right [after he reached the fork], he did not get lost.
The second sentence, being a third conditional, implies one possible fact that he neither bore right nor arrived.

3. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Originally Posted by man of manners
Nlost.
The second sentence, being a third conditional, .
The second sentence is NOT a third conditional.

4. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

The second sentence is not intended to be a third conditional because whether he turned right and arrived is unknown.

Is it correct to use that sentence? If not, how can I say it correctly?

5. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Your second sentence is possible (though I'd use 'turned' rather than 'bore'. The 'would have' construction expresses a degree of certainty.(

6. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Originally Posted by Piscean
The 'would have' construction expresses a degree of certainty.
Do you mean he would have certainly arrived if he bore right at that time or the speaker is certain that he turned right?

7. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Originally Posted by Piscean
Your second sentence is possible (though I'd use 'turned' rather than 'bore'. The 'would have' construction expresses a degree of certainty.
Not a teacher

If you see the sentence from this perspective, then I agree with you. But there is also another prospective I see this sentence from.

8. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Originally Posted by man of manners
If you see the sentence from this perspective, then I agree with you. But there is also another prospective I see this sentence from.
If it is from the perspective that "If he bore right after he reached the fork, he would have arrived" is a third condition, then it is based on a misunderstanding.

Third conditional sentences are about a past time irrealis situation. We do not use the past simple for past-time irrealis situations.

9. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Originally Posted by Piscean
Third conditional sentences are about a past time irrealis situation. We do not use the past simple for past-time irrealis situations
I know this for sure and that's what increasing doubt inside me because I also agree with you about the wrongness of using the past simple for past-time irrealis situations. But I have some examples found on the internet and I really want to know your logical explanation for using the past simple in the if-clause.
Visit my original post and tell me your view point.

10. ## Re: I don't know whether Tom turned left or right. If he bore right after he reached

Originally Posted by man of manners
Visit my original post and tell me your view point.
May I suggest that you cast your request as a request, not as a demand? You're more likely to get the result you want.

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