But if you knew that why did you take him as navigator? Is this a conditional sentence?

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novice_81

Senior Member
German
Hi

A) I wasn't really surprised that we got lost because I knew that the navigator couldn't map-read.

B) But if you knew that why did you take him as navigator?

--- the B example is pretty strange for me. Is it the conditional sentence?

I would rather say something like this: Since you had known (because it was in the past) about that why did you take him as navigator?

Thanks
 
  • Wilma_Sweden

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Scania)
    B) But if you knew that why did you take him as navigator?

    --- the B example is pretty strange for me. Is it the conditional sentence?

    I would rather say something like this: Since you had known (because it was in the past) about that why did you take him as navigator?
    It does not fit your pattern because it is a question about a fact rather than a 'traditional' conditional sentence.

    To get a conditional statement such as yours, you would need to say:

    Statement: If I had known that, I wouldn't have taken him as navigator.
    Question: If you had known that, would you have taken him as navigator?

    /Wilma
     

    Zsuzsu

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hi

    A) I wasn't really surprised that we got lost because I knew that the navigator couldn't map-read.

    B) But if you knew that why did you take him as navigator?

    --- the B example is pretty strange for me. Is it the conditional sentence?

    I would rather say something like this: Since you had known (because it was in the past) about that why did you take him as navigator?

    Thanks
    Hi novice,

    I am not sure whether your sentence is conditional. Consider these:

    1st conditional: If he tells me that he can't read a map, I won't take him... (the situation might be the following: I don't know whether or not he can do it but some other people say that he cannot, so I decide to ask him)

    2nd conditional: If he told me that he ..., I wouldn't take him... (I think that it is unlikely that he can't read a map)

    3rd conditional: If he had told me that he... I wouldn't have taken... (This is in the past: he did't tell me, so I took him as a navigator. However, if I had known that, I wouldn't have taken him).

    Your sentence B means that speaker A knew about it, so there is no need for past perfect. On the other hand, you might use a past perfect in this sentence to refer to an earlier thing:
    If you had known it before, why did you...?
    But I don't think you need past perfect at all...

    Edit: Oops, I've just realized that what I wrote might be a bit unclear. I hope you'll understand it, though...
     
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