and then it wouldn't <have been><be> possible for us to arrive

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Context:

Sentence #1:

The speaker and his/her companion have managed to catch the last bus and are now on their way to the railroad station. By saying sentence #1 the speaker wants to draw his/her companion's attention to what the current situation would be like if they had missed the last bus. The speaker says sentence #1 at 5:30 (6:30 is in the future).

Sentence #2:

The speaker and his/her companion have missed the last bus and are now not going anywhere. By saying sentence #2 the speaker wants to draw his/her companion's attention to what would have happened if they hadn't missed the last bus. The speaker says sentence #2 at 5:30 (6:30 is in the future).

Sample sentences:

1. If we hadn't arrived at the bus stop in time, we would have missed this last bus, and then it wouldn't be possible for us to arrive at the station in time to catch the 6:30 train.

2. If we had arrived at the bus stop in time, we wouldn't have missed the last bus, and then it would have been possible for us to arrive at the station in time to catch the 6:30 train.

Question:

Do the bolded tenses work in my sentences?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    They work for me in (2) but not (1), where you need the conditional perfect for the final verb: I don't see why reversing the negative polarity of the condition should affect the tense, because catching the train is ultimately still dependent on whether or not you missed the bus. Maybe somebody else will view it differently, though.

    To make the sentences slightly less clumsy-sounding, I'd suggest "...we could/couldn't have got to the station in time...". :)
     
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