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    #1

    If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Is it possible to use the first conditional in the past tense? For example,

    If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    (My sentence)

    What do you think?

    By the way, should I use the or a in "Is it possible to use the first conditional in [ ] past tense?
    Last edited by kadioguy; 21-Oct-2019 at 14:55.
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Your sentence is OK. My advice is to [almost] always use the definite article before the names of tenses.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Thank you, emsr2d2.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    My advice is to [almost] always use the definite article before the names of tenses.
    Could you tell me the reason? I can't tell the difference between
    "in the past tense" and "in a past tense".
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Your sentence is fine.

    (It's not 'the first conditional in the past tense', but that doesn't matter.)

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    #5

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post

    (It's not 'the first conditional in the past tense', but that doesn't matter.)
    Thank you, jutfrank.

    What do you call a sentence like this one?
    Last edited by kadioguy; 22-Oct-2019 at 03:31. Reason: improve a sentence
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #6

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    I can't tell the difference between "in the past tense" and "in a past tense".
    Use the definite article when you're referring to a specific past tense. Use the indefinite article to refer to any of a number of past tenses.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Call it a real past conditional.

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    #8

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    How can I call such a sentence?
    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Call it a real past conditional.
    Could you tell me how you chose between "Call it a real past conditional" and "Call it the real past conditional" in this case? It's hard for me to choose this one or the other.
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  9. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    I was thinking this: Call it a real past conditional [sentence].

    Because I was thinking of 'sentence', I used the indefinite article. I was thinking about what kind of sentence it is, not what kind of conditional it is.

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    #10

    Re: If I said something to offend your sister, I apologize.

    I probably shouldn't have said "almost always". To be fair, there are plenty of contexts in which the indefinite article would be appropriate (such as in jutfrank's example). I meant when you're just naming the tense.

    That sentence is in the past simple.
    Write your sentence in the past perfect.
    Don't use the present perfect there.
    It would be better to use the present continuous in that paragraph.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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