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    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 12
    #1

    grammar

    hiiiiiiiii

    if i had been tall i would have joined the police academy.

    is this sentence wrong & if so why

    thanks in advance
    joo


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 21
    #2

    Re: grammar

    joo, this is a correct sentence as it is using subjunctive tense. This is correct when you are short and had you been tall then you would have joined army and you would have joined army in the past. Since, you are not tall you have not joined the army.

    If you want to put it in the future or present tense, this would be as follows

    If I were tall, I would join the army.


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 12
    #3

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by saidon View Post
    joo, this is a correct sentence as it is using subjunctive tense. This is correct when you are short and had you been tall then you would have joined army and you would have joined army in the past. Since, you are not tall you have not joined the army.

    If you want to put it in the future or present tense, this would be as follows

    If I were tall, I would join the army.
    what about the following sentence

    if i were tall i would have joined the army

    is it wrong or not


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 21
    #4

    Re: grammar

    In subjunctive, when you use

    If I were.......... it implies you are referring to something in the present or future tense and there you should say

    If I were tall I would join army.

    To show an action in past you use past perfect tense in the if clause.
    If I had been tall, I would have joined army.

  1. #5

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by joo abadir View Post
    hiiiiiiiii

    if i had been tall i would have joined the police academy.

    is this sentence wrong & if so why

    thanks in advance
    joo
    You really should use the "2nd" conditional here because your height is your current condition. If I were tall, I would have joined the police academy
    Yes, the "be" verb is in the subjunctive in the second conditional, although you also have a mixed conditional here.
    Now....if your height has changed since you thought about joining the police academy, you could and should express this:
    If I had been tall(er) when I was 18, I would have joined the police academy.
    This way the time is clearly marked and the past perfect in the "if-clause" does not seem strange.

    Hope this helps


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #6

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by joo abadir View Post
    what about the following sentence

    if i were tall i would have joined the army

    is it wrong or not
    No it's not wrong, Joo Abadir. There are times when ENLs [English native speakers] don't follow the patterns of 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals. Those are mere guidelines that can't possibly account for every instance in life.

    These are called Mixed Conditionals.

    By using 'were' you are describing a condition that has existed throughout your life, with the result that you were unable to join the army/police.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #7

    Re: grammar

    Can I just add that, regardless of conditionals, sentences should begin with a capital letter, end with a period (or other form of punctuation), and that the word I should be capitalized?

    [a writer, not a teacher]

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