# Thread: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

1. ## subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

When I met him in the mountains, he said he had planted one hundred thousand trees. I told him that in thirty years his ten thousand oaks would be magnificent. He answered that if God granted him life, in another thirty years he would have platned so many more that these ten thousand would be like a drop of water in the ocean.

Is this if-clause in the subjuctive mood or the sequence of tense? I think it is the sequences of tense, I mean that he said " If God grants me life, in another thirty years I will have planted so many more that these ten thousand will be like a drop of water in the ocean."

Thank you very much.

2. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

Originally Posted by Progress
When I met him in the mountains, he said he had planted one hundred thousand trees. I told him that in thirty years his ten thousand oaks would be magnificent. He answered that if God granted him life, in another thirty years he would have platned so many more that these ten thousand would be like a drop of water in the ocean.

Is this if-clause in the subjuctive mood or the sequence of tense? I think it is the sequences of tense, I mean that he said " If God grants me life, in another thirty years I will have planted so many more that these ten thousand will be like a drop of water in the ocean."

Thank you very much.
Firstly, a correction :

He answered that if God granted him life, in another thirty years he would plant so many more that these ten thousand were like a drop of water in the ocean.

You have an if clause

When I met him in the mountains, he said he had planted one hundred thousand trees. I told him that in thirty years his ten thousand oaks would be magnificent.- sequence of tenses

3. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

Teia, the post is correct. Don't you know the future perfect? I'm asking about the post and not asking your correction. I know a lot about the English grammar. I am an English teacher too. I'm sorry to say that I expect native speakers of English to answer my questions. Sorry.

4. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

I agree with you; it's the sequence of tenses, with a backshifting into indirect speech after the introductory verb 'answered'. From the tone of the passage, the speaker seems to be expecting to do the planting.

5. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

If God granted him life, in another thirty years he would have planted ...

This sentence refers to a condition which is contrary to reality, or to an unreal present situation and its probable (but unreal) past result. Check this out:

"If God granted him life" is contrary to present reality - God hasn't granted him life, he is dead, and 'he would have planted more trees' is contrary to past reality - he didn't plant more tress.

In this case, it is one type of Mixed Conditional (mixing II & III).
(The tense in the If-clause is the simple past, and the tense in the main clause is the perfect conditional.)

Check out more here:
English Grammar and Writing : English language courses, English Grammar Online

6. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

Originally Posted by Progress
Teia, the post is correct. Don't you know the future perfect? I'm asking about the post and not asking your correction. I know a lot about the English grammar. I am an English teacher too. I'm sorry to say that I expect native speakers of English to answer my questions. Sorry.
It was a misunderstanding. I wrongly understood your question. That`s all.
Even if someone makes a mistake , we are here to help one another. You should have said that you wanted only English natives to reply your question. I`m sorry I have answered your question. It`s not necessary that you be impolite! I obviously understand your point. I haven`t ever said anything about you.It`s a matter of education ! I`m sure you know a lot about English grammar. Don`t accuse me of something I haven`t said.

7. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

Teia, I'm not accusing you. I WAS a bit upset. First of all, why you corrected me when you were not confident. Was it a polite manner? I have been thinking that in this forum the only teachers resistered here and/or native speakers who can answer questions correctly post answeres. So I thought I didn't have to mention native speakers all the time.Thas's all. Bygone.

bianca, he was alive at that time and not a ghost. He made a coversation then. He wanted to say the future things seen from that past.

Thanks Tdol. I was thinking between two possibilites.
First. it is the sequence of tenses as I mentioned and kindly you taught me.
Second. It is the subjunctive mood, type 2, which is not affected by the tense matter of the reported speech and means that in this case, the future possibilty seen from that time when the coversation took place may be low. The speaker may have wanted to express it.

Don't you think you can take the passage in the two ways? If you are puzzled in cofusing sentences how would you appreciate them? Would you please give me the clue? Are there sentences which are taken several ways even for native speakers?

Thank you very much.

8. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

[QUOTE=Progress;198647]Teia, I'm not accusing you. I WAS a bit upset. First of all, why you corrected me when you were not confident. Was it a polite manner? I have been thinking that in this forum the only teachers resistered here and/or native speakers who can answer questions correctly post answeres. So I thought I didn't have to mention native speakers all the time.- sorry, but you have to do it [ it`s up to you, of course], because this site is visited not only by English native teachers.
Thas's all. Bygone.

Hi Progress
As I already told you, it was not my intention to correct you. It was only an opinion. At that time, your sentence didn`t sound correct to me- it was my wrong comprehension of the problem. I misunderstood your question. I hope you understand my point.

9. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

Does (in)direct speech factor in here?

Ex: He answered, "If God grants me life, then in another 30 years I will have planted so many more that these ten thousand will be ... "

Ex: He answered, if God granted him life, then he would have planted so many more that these ten thousand would be ...

____________
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10. ## Re: subjunctive mood or sequence of tenses?

[quote=Casiopea;198691]Does (in)direct speech factor in here?

Ex: He answered, "If God grants me life, then in another 30 years I will have planted so many more that these ten thousand will be ... "

Ex: He answered, if God granted him life, then he would have planted so many more that these ten thousand would be ..

Oh yes, I reckon it does. Taken away from its context, the phrase appears as a type of mixed conditional. But I think it has to do with the sequence of tenses and the indirect speech, as Tdol said above.

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