"they would make" ... past tense ?


Is the following extra valid past tense?  The 'make' is present tense, but does the construction ('would') make it past tense????



David noticed that some of the film crews had the sort of beefy security guards normally found at rock concerts, maybe they would make it back with some of the expensive camera equipment they had started with.



If I re-cast the sentance as "maybe they made it back" This does not have the same meaning

asked Oct 27 '12 at 18:46 peter bailey New member

1 answer


No, the addition of "would" does not make your sentence past tense. "Would make" is what is known as the conditional future simple. It expresses an action that might take place.


As written, your sentence makes logical chronological sense. Just because one part of your sentence is in the past tense does not mean all of your sentence needs to stay in the past tense. Although David's noticing ocurred in the past, he was pondering something that was still in his future -- so the use of the conditional future simple is appropriate.


Finally, your sentence is a form of run-on sentence known as a comma splice. You incorrectly use a comma before "maybe" to join two independent clauses. You can correct this problem by (a) replacing the comma with a period thus creating two sentences, (b) add a conjunction such as "and" following the comma, or (c) replacing the comma with a semicolon.


I hope this helps.

link comment edited Oct 28 '12 at 04:20 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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