Conditional: If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result now.

Whodunit

Senior Member
Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
Hi,

At school, I came across following conditional sentence:

"If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result now."

I'm quite sure, it's also possible to use the conditional instead of the conditional perfect in the last part.

My teacher insisted on her opinion—I don't like her—and my friend and I discussed if the simple conditional (would + infinitive) is less used in this case. But when I looked in my textbook, I found following example:

"If the government had acted earlier, pollution would not have become such a problem." (conditional perfect: would have + past participle)

and in the same "mnemonic box" I found:

"If they had made laws to protect the environment, the country would be cleaner today. (conditional: would + infinitive)

Please tell me what do you think about this usage.
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hola Who,

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a grammarian.

    whodunit said:
    Hi,

    At school, I came across following conditional sentence:

    "If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result now."
    Conditional referring to the past/,.....Conditional referring to the past

    I'm quite sure, it's also possible to use the conditional instead of the conditional perfect in the last part.

    My teacher insisted on her opinion—I don't like her—and my friend and I discussed if the simple conditional (would + infinitive) is less used in this case. But when I looked in my textbook, I found following example:

    "If the government had acted earlier, pollution would not have become
    Conditional referring to the past/................Conditional referring to the past
    such a problem." (conditional perfect: would have + past participle)

    and in the same "mnemonic box" I found:

    "If they had made laws to protect the environment, the country would be
    Conditional referring to the past............Conditional referring to the present cleaner today. (conditional: would + infinitive)

    Please tell me what do you think about this usage.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    whodunit said:
    "If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result now."
    This one doesn't seem right to me. If it's "now", then they should say "he would know".

    whodunit said:
    "If the government had acted earlier, pollution would not have become such a problem." (conditional perfect: would have + past participle)
    Yes, because pollution became a problem before the present.

    whodunit said:
    "If they had made laws to protect the environment, the country would be cleaner today. (conditional: would + infinitive)
    Yes, because the country would be cleaner in the present.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    HI

    This has come up in a thread before (started by Azz I believe, but I could be wrong).

    I think the general conclusion was that strictly speaking grammatically you follow a pluperfect with a conditional perfect. However when you use terms such as "now" and "today" you throw all that into confusion because it also makes no sense to use conditional perfect in the present.

    So you have a clash between the "natural" grammatical sequence and the "sense" of the tenses. Usually, I believe, native speakers prefer the "sense" to be correct, and so we would use the conditional in sentences 1 and 3 above.
     

    ojyram

    Senior Member
    USA English (Learning Spanish)
    Timpeac is correct. "Now" and "today" change the sense of the sentences.

    If he had watched the match, he would have known the score when I asked him.

    If he had watched the match, he would know the score now.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    timpeac said:
    HI

    This has come up in a thread before (started by Azz I believe, but I could be wrong).

    I think the general conclusion was that strictly speaking grammatically you follow a pluperfect with a conditional perfect. However when you use terms such as "now" and "today" you throw all that into confusion because it also makes no sense to use conditional perfect in the present.

    So you have a clash between the "natural" grammatical sequence and the "sense" of the tenses. Usually, I believe, native speakers prefer the "sense" to be correct, and so we would use the conditional in sentences 1 and 3 above.
    Okay, I think that's obvious. My foolish teacher wanted to make us helpless pupils use the conditional perfect instead of the simple conditional. But I and my friend—she was half a year in England—wanted to explain to her that at least the second one is right because we have the "now" that indicates the present. She didn't believe us, I'll try to tell it to her on Monday again. Let's see what happens.

    Nevertheless, I'm glad you all responded that quickly. But to ask a question again, let me ask whether it's at least possible to use the conditional without the perfect tense in conversation if there're words like now, just, tomorrow?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    whodunit said:
    Okay, I think that's obvious. My foolish teacher wanted to make us helpless pupils use the conditional perfect instead of the simple conditional. But I and my friend—she was half a year in England—wanted to explain to her that at least the second one is right because we have the "now" that indicates the present. She didn't believe us, I'll try to tell it to her on Monday again. Let's see what happens.

    Nevertheless, I'm glad you all responded that quickly. But to ask a question again, let me ask whether it's at least possible to use the conditional without the perfect tense in conversation if there're words like now, just, tomorrow?
    I don't think you could say that using the conditional perfect with these words is strictly wrong I'm afraid. It definitely is not as usual. Particularly with the sentence with "now".
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    whodunit said:
    And is it possible without "now"?
    You mean can you say "if he had watched the match he would know the result"?

    IF so, yes it is possible but this implies "now" eg at the same time the speaker is speaking.
     

    te gato

    Senior Member
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Hey whodunit;

    "If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result now."

    You can use it..it does sound a little odd..here we would say..

    ' If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result by now.'

    This is just stating that if he wasn't such a bonehead..and would have watched the football game yesterday..like the rest of the world did...instead of going out looking for a pair of orange pants...he would not have to be running around..bugging everyone today asking..'What was the score, ah come on someone please tell me the score?'

    te gato;)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    te gato said:
    ' If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result by now.'
    This is a good solution because everyone's happy. You have the pluperfect followed by the conditional perfect, and then because "by now" means that it must have happed at some time in the past before now there is no problem combining this grammatical sequence with the sense of the sentence.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    timpeac said:
    This is a good solution because everyone's happy. You have the pluperfect followed by the conditional perfect, and then because "by now" means that it must have happed at some time in the past before now there is no problem combining this grammatical sequence with the sense of the sentence.
    Yes, I also think that's a good solution. Thank you te gato. And thank you for this in-depth explanation.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    whodunit said:
    Let me ask you anew/again:

    Are you already bushed, only because I asked such a simple question? Only your English knowledge was called for.
    Sorry Whodunit I really don't know what you are talking about. Why would I be tired? Anyway, no I'm not.:confused: :confused: :confused:
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    whodunit said:
    As you said "Another satisfied customer!", it sounded as if you were talking about "Finally, we made it. This pesky guy is finally satisfied." Hope you understand now.
    Yes, now I understand what you meant! However, you misunderstood what I meant. My comment simply meant "another happy person"!! (it's not ambiguous, it's quite a common phrase for that).

    It is always a pleasure to help. You are not at all pesky.:D (I'd tell you to your face if you were :eek: );)
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    timpeac said:
    Yes, now I understand what you meant! However, you misunderstood what I meant. My comment simply meant "another happy person"!! (it's not ambiguous, it's quite a common phrase for that).

    It is always a pleasure to help. You are not at all pesky.:D (I'd tell you to your face if you were :eek: );)
    Hope I'm not and I'm glad you don't think so.

    I didn't realize this irony in your sentence. Or did I make it ironic? And it wasn't mean ironically?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    whodunit said:
    Hope I'm not and I'm glad you don't think so.

    I didn't realize this irony in your sentence. Or did I make it ironic? And it wasn't mean ironically?
    Who, it was not ironic at all. In the slightest. Honestly. I promise!!
     

    Ivy29

    Banned
    COLOMBIA-Español
    Whodunit said:
    Hi,

    At school, I came across following conditional sentence:

    "If he had watched the football match, he would have known the result now."

    I'm quite sure, it's also possible to use the conditional instead of the conditional perfect in the last part.

    My teacher insisted on her opinion—I don't like her—and my friend and I discussed if the simple conditional (would + infinitive) is less used in this case. But when I looked in my textbook, I found following example:

    "If the government had acted earlier, pollution would not have become such a problem." (conditional perfect: would have + past participle)

    and in the same "mnemonic box" I found:

    "If they had made laws to protect the environment, the country would be cleaner today. (conditional: would + infinitive)

    Please tell me what do you think about this usage.
    In ENGLISH you have the mixed conditional.
    type 2 ( PROTASIS) and type 3 (APODOSIS)
    If Tom were a bit more ambitious, he would have found himself a better job years ago.
    type 3 ( PROTASIS) and type 2 (APODOSIS)
    I you hadn't woken me up in the middle of the night, I wouldn't fell so tired now.
    also we can use :
    Type 1 (PROTASIS) with type 3 (APODOSIS)
    If you know London so well, you wouldn't have got lost.
    WOULD+ have or HAD is not used in the PROTASIS.

    Cheers
    Iván
     
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