1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

if it did happen, we react (agreement of tense)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by IKI_75, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. IKI_75 Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Hello!

    In the sentence "If it did happen, we react immediately" there is no agreement of the tenses. Why is the present tense of the verb "react" used instead of "would react"? Is it because the if-clause indicates real possibility? Would be there any difference if I said "If it happens, we react immediately"?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    "Would react" is correct; the original version is incorrect.
     
  3. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    The other possibility is that it's all in the past: if it did happen, we reacted immediately. What's the context?
    Cheers
     
  4. IKI_75 Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Thank you!
     
  5. IKI_75 Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    I heard it in a movie. A fireman says that the fire brigade is very careful for everything and prepared for the worst and "If it did happen, we react immediately".

    Also, in another thread I quoted a grammar book saying: "If the Past Perfect action did occur at a specific time, the Simple Past can be used instead of the Past Perfect when "before" or "after" is used in the sentence".
    Why is there disagreement of the tenses in a grammar book?
     
  6. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    Right, it's a fireman talking off the cuff, not a careful writer polishing a sentence. It's the kind of harmless "error" that we all make when speaking. In written English we make more of an attempt to be careful with grammar.
     
  7. IKI_75 Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Thank you, Chris.
     
  8. IKI_75 Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    And what about the sentence from the grammar book "If the Past Perfect action did occur at a specific time, the Simple Past can be used instead of the Past Perfect when "before" or "after" is used in the sentence"? Does it sound acceptable?
    Is it a typing mistake? It is possible that the grammar book was written by non native English speakers.
     
  9. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    It's okay, because "did" is referring to the action being described, and the "can" refers to the speaking about it (which is in the present).
     
  10. IKI_75 Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Thank you!
     

Share This Page