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    #1

    Question Tenses with if

    "If this procedure had failed, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999)."

    This is not a conditional, so that's why I decided to use the past perfect in order to indicate the sequence of the two actions. I know the simple past would work here, or at least it would not be thought of as incorrect. However, is my version correct? Is either of these versions preferred?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

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    #2

    Re: Tenses with if

    "If this procedure had failed, I would have applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999)."

    Since the procedure did not fail, and you did not apply the adjustment, you cannot use the simple past in the second clause.

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #3

    Wink Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    "If this procedure had failed, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999)."

    This is not a conditional, so that's why I decided to use the past perfect in order to indicate the sequence of the two actions. I know the simple past would work here, or at least it would not be thought of as incorrect. However, is my version correct? Is either of these versions preferred?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus
    But if you still want to use the past form of the verb apply (because, actually, you applied the adjustment), use the following pattern:

    In case this procedure should fail, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith.

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    #4

    Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    But if you still want to use the past form of the verb apply (because, actually, you applied the adjustment), use the following pattern:

    In case this procedure should fail, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith.
    Thanks, Mykwyner and Engee.

    Well, the problem is in some cases I applied the procedure, and in some I didn't. Does the version with "should fail" work fine for this instance, then? I think what Mykwyner proposed doesn't, for the reason given in the first sentences of this para.

    Nyggus


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    #5

    Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Thanks, Mykwyner and Engee.

    Well, the problem is in some cases I applied the procedure, and in some I didn't. Does the version with "should fail" work fine for this instance, then? I think what Mykwyner proposed doesn't, for the reason given in the first sentences of this para.

    Nyggus
    It's late and I'm knackered but it seems to me that you have to decide the time perspective that you want to describe this from, Nyggus.


    "If this procedure had failed, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999).

    What about,

    Whenever this procedure fails, I apply the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999).

    It's similar to,

    Should this procedure fail, I always apply ...

    except that 'should' doesn't point to a repeatable situation as m uch as "whenever" does.

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    #6

    Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    It's late and I'm knackered but it seems to me that you have to decide the time perspective that you want to describe this from, Nyggus.


    "If this procedure had failed, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999).

    What about,

    Whenever this procedure fails, I apply the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999).

    It's similar to,

    Should this procedure fail, I always apply ...

    except that 'should' doesn't point to a repeatable situation as m uch as "whenever" does.
    Thanks. For sure I need the past tense, so maybe the following would work:

    "Whenever this procedure failed, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999)"?

    Is it fine, then?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus


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    #7

    Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Thanks. For sure I need the past tense, so maybe the following would work:

    "Whenever this procedure failed, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999)"?

    Is it fine, then?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus
    If you no longer do the procedure, then the sentence above is fine.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #8

    Cool Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    ...
    "Whenever this procedure failed, I applied the adjustment proposed by Smith (1999)"?
    But now, you're implying that the procedure actually failed many a time; therefore, you applied the adjustment every time the procedure failed. That's the reason and result for doing something. And what if it was only precautions that were taken in case of the failure of the procedure? That's the catch, don't you think?


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    #9

    Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    But now, you're implying that the procedure actually failed many a time; therefore, you applied the adjustment every time the procedure failed. That's the reason and result for doing something. And what if it was only precautions that were taken in case of the failure of the procedure? That's the catch, don't you think?
    Good morning, [from my perspective] Engee.

    I think that that's too large an assumption to make,that 'whenever' suggests "many a time". It says, "the times it failed, unspecified, I applied a procedure".

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    #10

    Wink Re: Tenses with if

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Good morning, [from my perspective] Engee.

    I think that that's too large an assumption to make,that 'whenever' suggests "many a time". It says, "the times it failed, unspecified, I applied a procedure".
    Good afternoon [from my perspective], Riverkid.

    The trouble is that whenever, to me, says something like every time that something happens, no matter whether unspecified or not. So, it's not only an assumption that's got to do with it, it's something more, in my humble opinion.

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