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    #1

    If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?

    Context: A father reprimanded his son and the son's friend is asking the father what he would have done had it been him.

    If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?
    If I had been your son and had done what he did, how would you have reacted?
    If I had been your son and did what he did, how would you have reacted?

    Please tell me which of the above is most suitable. Also, please comment on the errors.

    Thank you.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?

    None of them are right.
    You can't ask the father how he would have reacted if it had been his son's friend by pretending that his son's friend was his son. If the father did it to his son, and you were his son, then wouldn't he have reacted in the same way to you?

    "If I had done what he did, how would you have reacted?"

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    #3

    Re: If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?

    Quote Originally Posted by MeyaN View Post
    Context: A father reprimanded his son and the son's friend is asking the father what he would have done had it been him.

    If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?

    ...
    I have to disagree with Raymott (#2) on this. This is a legitimate question, and grammatically correct.

    Fathers with two or more sons do not necessarily treat them all exactly the same way. The boys will have different personalities, their status in the family will not be identical. There are many reasons why the father may interact differently with each of them.

    For a friend of one of these sons to ask this question is inquiring into this aspect of the father's choice of reaction. This boy is really asking the father whether his reaction to his son was one he would consistently have, or if perhaps something about his son influenced his response.

    "If I was your son..." is present as an "all things being equal" qualifier.

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    #4

    Re: If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?

    Thank you ChinaDan for understanding. Please comment on second and third questions too.

    "If I had been your son and had done what he did, how would you have reacted? "
    "If I had been your son and did what he did, how would you have reacted?"

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    #5

    Re: If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?

    Quote Originally Posted by MeyaN View Post
    Thank you ChinaDan for understanding. Please comment on second and third questions too.

    "If I had been your son and had done what he did, how would you have reacted? "
    "If I had been your son and did what he did, how would you have reacted?"
    These are okay, though I prefer your first sentence.

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    #6

    Re: If I was your son and did what he did, how would you react?

    The first sentence is similar to how I would phrase it.

    I feel that the second and third are not very natural with this particular phrasing. It seems that this is a very hypothetical question set in hypothetical time so a second conditional is the ideal choice -- it supposes the impossibility of "me being your son". There is no strong reason to use a past conditional here.

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