If I <could meet /met> anyone in history...

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COnditionals are very confusing and I want to get your explnation between the two sentences below in terms of grammar and meaning. If there is any differnce in terms of meaning, what is it? and when can I add could or not??

If I could meeat anyone in histoyr, I would meet Edison.

If I met anyone in history, I would meet Edisonn.
  • Mark1978

    Senior Member
    I would say the first one is the best. The second one sounds ok, but you are mixing your tenses which is probably bad :p

    You wouldn't want to meet Edison anyway, not a nice fellow by many accounts.


    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    The two sentences don't sound very natural, but I think that's more specific word choice than grammar. The following sound pretty natural to me:

    If I could meet anyone in history, I'd choose/prefer/want to meet Edison.

    If the Doctor (on Dr. Who) met a historical figure, it would probably be Edison. (Some people will prefer "were to meet" in place of "met".)

    The first sentence is speculating about an impossible hypothetical situation. The second is talking about what would happen if the first part actually came true.
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