A variation of conditionals?
I have found these sentences, "If I were you, I would have enjoyed my vacation.", "If I were you, I would have explained what happened." So I think the structure of "If I were...., I would have p.p..." is also possible. Do you agree with the grammar? I really hope to hear from you again. Thank you so much as usual.
HsKyH7, neither of these two sentences is correct.
"If I were . . ." expresses an imagined present, "if I had been . . .", an imagined past.
Here are your options:
If I were you, I would explain what happened.
If I had been you, I would have explained what happened.
|link||answered Oct 09 '12 at 12:34 Peter Guess Expert|
First, to explain what Peter meant, and Mysticete disagreed with, about "If I were ..."
As Mysticete said, normally "were" is the past tense subjunctive of the verb "to be". However, when "were" follows if, as if, wish, or suppose, it becomes a fixed expression that describes, as Peter said, the imagined present.
When "were" appears in the "if" clause, the sentence is always a Present Unreal Conditional and the result clause should always use would + present tense verb.
If the result clause describes something in the past -- would + have + past participle -- then we have a Past Unreal Conditional, and the if clause should always use the past perfect -- for example, had been.
To be grammatically correct, we cannot mix and match the tenses. Remember, what we see and hear is not always correct.
I hope this helps.
|link||answered Oct 09 '12 at 14:38 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
Yes. In these cases "were" is a subjunctive form (indicating an imaginary or unreal state) of the word "be." Also possible is "If she/he/it were here, then..." or "I wish she/he/it were..."
Ordinarily, the first person singular past tense form of the word "be" is "was." As in, "I was just leaving."
|link||answered Oct 09 '12 at 10:32 mysticete Contributor|
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