Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Jorgo is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Europe
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    117

    I need one more clarification

    I work in diplomacy, and I was called few minutes ago, asking about some visa requirements etc etc. Citizen of the state that needs a visa for entering my country asked about the details via proxy, and could he get visa on the border, because his request would be very much belated, if he applied now. I responded:

    "If he was a person who WAS fleeing from some war affected state, it would be possible to issue him a visa on the border, but since he is not - it`s not possible"


    Was this gramatticaly correct?? I used WAS after "who", even thought I am talking about the actual ongoing situation, about the person who is safe and sound at the moment.

    Should I have put

    "If he was a person who IS fleeing....."

    Thank you in advance, and sorry for bombarding you on Friday

    Jorgo

  2. #2
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8,327

    Re: I need one more clarification

    'It would be possible to issue him with a visa on the border if he was fleeing from a war-affected country, but since he is not, it is not possible.'

    'Was fleeing' is the past continuous subjunctive used in the second conditional according to http://www.grammaring.com/past-conti...nd-conditional
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,797

    Re: I need one more clarification

    It's fine. Personally, I'd use the present tense for the entire phrase: "If he IS a person who IS fleeing . . . ." just because it seems more precise. I don't know whether you've committed a grammar crime, but your meaning is certainly clear.
    .
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. #4
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8,327

    Re: I need one more clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    It is not. Subjunctive would be were fleeing.
    I think you would disagree with the following:

    'Traditionally, the past subjunctive form of be is were for all persons, including the first and third person singular. However, today I/he/she/it was is more common while were is mainly used in formal styles and in the set phrase if I were you.'—quoted from http://www.grammaring.com/past-subjunctive
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,254

    Re: I need one more clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgo View Post
    "If he was a person who WAS fleeing from some war-affected state, it would be possible to issue him a visa on the border, but since he is not - it`s not possible​."
    As amended above, you could have saved both two words and the concern about whether the tense was right. The hyphen is required to be strictly correct but its absence wasn't serious.

    I'd use were. We Americans use the subjunctive much more than the Brits, but I think many Americans would use the indicative was, so your choice doesn't look glaringly wrong.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    Jorgo is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Europe
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    117

    Re: I need one more clarification

    Thank you guys, yes I know that I could have saved time by avoiding that part with WAS:)) but here is another, similar example - one guy made a mess at work, so I sent a msg to my friend
    "If I were him, I wouldnt bet my ass IS going to survive this night"

    Should I have used WAS instead of is? I used IS because in the moment of speaking it was present tense, and if would have sounded oddly had I used was for a future. Those are just nuances but I strive to perfectionism.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,325

    Re: I need one more clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgo View Post
    Thank you guys. Yes, I know that I could have saved time by avoiding that part with WAS:)) "was" but here is another, similar example. one A guy made a mess at work, so I sent a msg message to my friend.

    "If I were him, I wouldn't bet my ass (missing word) IS going to survive this night."

    Should I have used WAS "was" instead of "is"? I used IS "is" because in at the moment time of speaking it was the present tense, and if would have sounded oddly odd had I used "was" for a the future. Those are just nuances but I strive to for perfectionism.
    Note my corrections above. Until you correct the main sentence, in which it appears at least one word is missing, it's impossible to respond.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,797

    Re: I need one more clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    As amended above, you could have saved both two words and the concern about whether the tense was right. The hyphen is required to be strictly correct but its absence wasn't serious.

    I'd use were. We Americans use the subjunctive much more than the Brits, but I think many Americans would use the indicative was, so your choice doesn't look glaringly wrong.
    Well, shoot, why not just "If he is (or was or were) fleeing"? He's obviously a person. There's no need to state it. But I was just responding to the grammar question.

    And this American would only say "were" in a hypothetical sentence - that is, if I knew for a fact that he wasn't fleeing. There wasn't anything to suggest that that was the case. So I'd use the simple present tense.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  9. #9
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8,327

    Re: I need one more clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    And this American would only say "were" in a hypothetical sentence - that is, if I knew for a fact that he wasn't fleeing. There wasn't anything to suggest that that was the case.
    Does the following suggest that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgo View Post
    but since he is not
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Jorgo is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Europe
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    117

    Re: I need one more clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Note my corrections above. Until you correct the main sentence, in which it appears at least one word is missing, it's impossible to respond.
    Thank you for the corrections and for your effort, I always struggle with prepositions (to, for...) .
    Sorry, but I dont believe anything is missing in this sentence - I just said I wouldnt like to be in his shoes because he made a mess at work.
    That's why I wrote " if I were him I wouldnt bet my ass is (or "was") going to survive this night". Dont know what tense is more proper to use here and why, but the context is clear....or maybe I am still missing something?
    Thank you

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •