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Thread: grammar


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
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    #1

    grammar

    what about the following sentence

    if i were tall i would have joined the army

    is it wrong or not

    thanks in advance
    joo

  1. bianca's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: grammar

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

    If I had been tall I would have joined the army.

    is it wrong or not

    thanks in advance
    joo
    ...

    or: If I were tall, I would join the army.

    depending on the context.
    Last edited by bianca; 09-Aug-2007 at 21:09.

  2. Fleur de mort
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    #3

    Re: grammar

    Can I say :
    If I had been tall , I'd like to join the army.
    Last edited by Fleur de mort; 09-Aug-2007 at 23:24.

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    #4

    Re: grammar

    No. Correct is: If I were tall, I'd like to join the army. (the sequence of tenses)

  4. Fleur de mort
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    #5

    Re: grammar

    But were for a plural and was for a singular .
    why you used were?

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    #6

    Re: grammar

    It's called the subjunctive mood many, or most, native English speakers don't use it. They will say, "If I was tall, I'd join the army."

    Most editors, teachers and other judges of writing don't consider it an error if you fail to use the subjunctive mood.

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    #7

    Re: grammar

    It would be instructive to summarize the various possibilities as follows:

    "If I were tall, I would have joined the army." - by Joo Past if-clause + would+have+participle main clause = Type V Mixed Conditional (mixing II & III) expressing unrealized state.

    "If I had been tall , I'd like to join the army." - by Fleur Past perfect if-clause + modal main clause = ?? Conditional Y not an acceptable conditional sentence as indicated by Bianca .


    We could turn this into a Type III by making the main clause into "I would have liked to ..."

    "If I were tall, I would join the army." - by Bianca. Past if-clause + past conditional clause = Type II Conditional expressing perceived state of impossibility or ‘contrary to fact’ condition.

    "If I was tall, I'd join the army." - by Mykwyner. Past if-clause + past conditional clause = Type II Conditional expressing perceived state of impossibility or ‘contrary to fact’ condition.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #8

    Re: grammar

    If I were tall, I would have joined the army
    If I had been tall, I would have joined the army.
    Both of these are fine to me, but express different things about the person's height. 'If I had been tall' suggests that at that particular time, the person was not tall and they could have grown since. 'If I were tall' suggests that the height remains unchanged and not sufficient for army purposes.


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    #9

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Both of these are fine to me, but express different things about the person's height. 'If I had been tall' suggests that at that particular time, the person was not tall and they could have grown since. 'If I were tall' suggests that the height remains unchanged and not sufficient for army purposes.
    thanks editor for your clarification

    I came to realize this difference after doing alot of search

  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #10

    Re: grammar

    Conditionals can be tricky and don't always follow the set patterns people are taught; meaning can change them.

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