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    #1

    past tense verb used to represent future?

    Hi,

    My friend, on 27th Jan, asked me to join him in a party that is going to take place on 29th jan. Then, which of the following sentences are correct and why?

    it would be cool if we went together

    it would be cool if we go together

    I believe second sentence should be correct. However, many a time, I observed in lot of English movies that they use past tense verb like in the case of above sentence i.e, 'went'. could any of you please explain the logic?

    Thanks for your help
    Kiran

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: past tense verb used to represent future?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiranlegend View Post
    hi,

    my friend, on 27th jan, asked me to join him in a party that is going to take place on 29th jan. Then, which of the following sentences are correct and why?

    it would be cool if we went together. this is an unreal conditional as the if clause is in simple past tense. So in the result use of would is correct . Please use capital letter in beginig of the statment.

    it will (would) be cool if we go together. This is a real conditional as the if clause is in the present tense. So use "will" insyead of "would"

    i believe second sentence should be correct. However, many a time, i observed in lot of english movies that they use past tense verb like in the case of above sentence i.e, 'went'. Could any of you please explain the logic?

    Thanks for your help
    kiran
    skp

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    #3

    Re: past tense verb used to represent future?

    The fact is that both are used.

    The difference, if any, is that "we go" is more optimistic about the possibility, whereas "we went" is a bit tentative.

    "If we go" implies [and we can/will]
    "If we went" implies [but we're not going OR but that's really just a hypothetical idea]. Formally it's a subjunctive, but except for "if I/he were", very few people think of it that way nowadays.

    Of course, as Sarat_106 has pointed out, the sentence with "if we go" should continue "it will be cool", but chat is chat. The fine points aren't followed.
    Last edited by abaka; 28-Jan-2009 at 06:35. Reason: wording

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