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  1. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863
    #1

    past simple, past perfect - if only

    What a pity you didn't see the play.
    = If only you had seen/could have seen/saw the play.

    Why is it incorrect to use "saw" in the sentence? Would it refer to the present (What a pity you don't see the play.)?

  2. Harry Smith's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Armenia
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 2,932
    #2

    Re: past simple, past perfect - if only

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    What a pity you didn't see the play.
    = If only you had seen/could have seen/saw the play.

    Why is it incorrect to use "saw" in the sentence? Would it refer to the present (What a pity you don't see the play.)?
    Because "What a pity you didn't see the play" is a past action. When we speak about the past, If only is followed by past perfect.

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