Author Topic: conditional  (Read 294 times)

Offline navi

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« on: January 12, 2020, 04:35:04 am »
1) If he was there, I'd have talked to him.

Is the sentence correct?

I have been taught to say:

2) If he had been there, I'd have talked to him.

But I think I hear things like '1'. Maybe it is correct in American English, but not in British English?

Or maybe there is a difference in the meanings of '1' and '2'?


Offline Darryl

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Re: conditional
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 11:07:13 am »
If you are going to match up the tenses, #2 is better. I doubt there's any difference between Am E and Br E.

Offline davel

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Re: conditional
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 08:17:21 am »
I prefer #2 because the use of 'had been' pushes that part farther back in the past.

Another nuance is the use of 'was' in #1 - in older versions of English, this would be incorrect as it should be 'were'. However, that grammar point (the subjunctive) has mostly 'fallen out of' modern English - very few people use it nowadays.