I need one more clarification

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Jorgo

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I work in diplomacy, and I was called few minutes ago, asking about some visa requirements etc etc. Citizen of the state that needs a visa for entering my country asked about the details via proxy, and could he get visa on the border, because his request would be very much belated, if he applied now. I responded:

"If he was a person who WAS fleeing from some war affected state, it would be possible to issue him a visa on the border, but since he is not - it`s not possible"


Was this gramatticaly correct?? I used WAS after "who", even thought I am talking about the actual ongoing situation, about the person who is safe and sound at the moment.

Should I have put

"If he was a person who IS fleeing....."

Thank you in advance, and sorry for bombarding you on Friday :)

Jorgo
 

Charlie Bernstein

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It's fine. Personally, I'd use the present tense for the entire phrase: "If he IS a person who IS fleeing . . . ." just because it seems more precise. I don't know whether you've committed a grammar crime, but your meaning is certainly clear.
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Matthew Wai

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It is not. Subjunctive would be were fleeing.
I think you would disagree with the following:

'Traditionally, the past subjunctive form of be is were for all persons, including the first and third person singular. However, today I/he/she/it was is more common while were is mainly used in formal styles and in the set phrase if I were you.'—quoted from http://www.grammaring.com/past-subjunctive
 

GoesStation

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"If he was a person [STRIKE]who WAS[/STRIKE] fleeing from some war-affected state, it would be possible to issue him a visa on the border, but since he is not - it`s not possible​."
As amended above, you could have saved both two words and the concern about whether the tense was right. :) The hyphen is required to be strictly correct but its absence wasn't serious.

I'd use were. We Americans use the subjunctive much more than the Brits, but I think many Americans would use the indicative was, so your choice doesn't look glaringly wrong.
 

Jorgo

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Thank you guys, yes I know that I could have saved time by avoiding that part with WAS:)) but here is another, similar example - one guy made a mess at work, so I sent a msg to my friend
"If I were him, I wouldnt bet my ass IS going to survive this night"

Should I have used WAS instead of is? I used IS because in the moment of speaking it was present tense, and if would have sounded oddly had I used was for a future. Those are just nuances but I strive to perfectionism.
 

emsr2d2

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Thank you guys. Yes, I know that I could have saved time by avoiding that part with [STRIKE]WAS:))[/STRIKE] "was" but here is another, similar example. [STRIKE]one[/STRIKE] A guy made a mess at work, so I sent a [STRIKE]msg[/STRIKE] message to my friend.

"If I were him, I wouldn't bet my ass (missing word) IS going to survive this night."

Should I have used [STRIKE]WAS[/STRIKE] "was" instead of "is"? I used [STRIKE]IS[/STRIKE] "is" because [STRIKE]in[/STRIKE] at the [STRIKE]moment[/STRIKE] time of speaking it was the present [STRIKE]tense[/STRIKE], and if would have sounded [STRIKE]oddly[/STRIKE] odd had I used "was" for [STRIKE]a[/STRIKE] the future. Those are just nuances but I strive [STRIKE]to[/STRIKE] for perfectionism.

Note my corrections above. Until you correct the main sentence, in which it appears at least one word is missing, it's impossible to respond.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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As amended above, you could have saved both two words and the concern about whether the tense was right. :) The hyphen is required to be strictly correct but its absence wasn't serious.

I'd use were. We Americans use the subjunctive much more than the Brits, but I think many Americans would use the indicative was, so your choice doesn't look glaringly wrong.

Well, shoot, why not just "If he is (or was or were) fleeing"? He's obviously a person. There's no need to state it. But I was just responding to the grammar question.

And this American would only say "were" in a hypothetical sentence - that is, if I knew for a fact that he wasn't fleeing. There wasn't anything to suggest that that was the case. So I'd use the simple present tense.
 

Jorgo

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Note my corrections above. Until you correct the main sentence, in which it appears at least one word is missing, it's impossible to respond.

Thank you for the corrections and for your effort, I always struggle with prepositions (to, for...) :).
Sorry, but I dont believe anything is missing in this sentence - I just said I wouldnt like to be in his shoes because he made a mess at work.
That's why I wrote " if I were him I wouldnt bet my ass is (or "was") going to survive this night". Dont know what tense is more proper to use here and why, but the context is clear....or maybe I am still missing something?
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Jorgo

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Hmmm good question...and I am puzzled now...
"My ass" should be the object of the sentence.....
I wanted to say that he will be very reprimanded that "his/ my ass" won't survive the night.

I quess the subject is "omitted " here but it's understood that whole sentence is reffered to my coleague who made a mess.

My main question is - should I after " If I were somebody," followed by "would/should" use present continuous or past continuous? What does sound more naturally to you, native speakers and professors?
 

emsr2d2

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He's not betting that his ass won't last the night, he's betting his ass that he won't last the night.
 
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