If I have been proven guilty, I will..


If I am proven guilty, I will apologize to you.

If I have been proven guilty, I will apologize to you.

I know that the first is grammatically correct, but is it okay to say the second in some contexts?


Thank you so much as usual for your time and help and efforts.  

edited Oct 24 '12 at 06:38 Hans Contributor

2 answers


Yes, the first one is correct.

The second one is not seen in proper grammatical use.

link answered Oct 24 '12 at 07:13 Rahul Gupta Expert

Thank you so much and I hope to hear from more experts. Have a good day.

HansOct 24 '12 at 10:14

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The problem in #2 is mostly logic,  and only partly grammar.


#1 is a conditional sentence where both the if clause and the result clause is in the future tense. This is known as a Type I conditional sentence where  it is possible and likely that the "if" condition will be fulfilled. But at this point in time, we don't yet know what the result will be.


In #2, the if clause is in the present perfect tense -- meaning that the condition occurred at some unspecified point in the past. The result clause is still in the future tense. This results in a logical quandary. Why would you say "if" about something you already know? Logically, you would say "I was not found guilty, so I will not apologize" or "I was found guilty, so I will apologize."


You can say something in the "if" clause that you know to be false. This is a counterfactual or a Type III conditional sentence. You use the Past Perfect tense in the if clause and would + have + past participle in the result clause.


If I had been proven guilty, I would have apologized to you.

link comment answered Oct 24 '12 at 14:53 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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