If Johnny <is going to live><lives> to 80, he will <see><have seen> a lot

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JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Sample sentences:

1. If Johnny is going to live to 80, he will see a lot of interesting people.

2. If Johnny is going to live to 80, he will have seen a lot of interesting people.

3. If Johnny lives to 80, he will see a lot of interesting people.

4. If Johnny lives to 80, he will have seen a lot of interesting people.

Question:

Do I understand correctly what the four sample sentences mean:

Sentence #1 says that Jonny's intention is to live to 80. If so, then he will see a lot of interesting people.

Sentence #2 says that Jonny's intention is to live to 80. If so, and if he lives to 80, then he will have seen a lot of interesting people (by then).

Sentence #3 says that if Jonny turns 80, only then will he see a lot of interesting people (but not before he's 80).

Sentence #4 says that if Jonny turns 80, he will have seen a lot of interesting people (by then).


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    1./2. If Johnny is going to live to 80,-> if it is your prediction/estimation that Johnny will live to be 80 [then + consequence.]
    3./4. If Johnny lives to 80,-> On the condition that Johnny continues [from this moment] to live until he is 80 [then + consequence.]

    1./3. he will see a lot of interesting people. -> between now and his being 80, he will see a lot of interesting people.
    2./4. he will have seen a lot of interesting people. -> By the time that he reaches the age of 80 he will have seen a lot of interesting people.
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I do not see any "intention" in sentences 1 and 2. I don't see any "(but not before he's 80)" in sentence 3. I think all 4 sentences have the same meaning, which is expressed most clearly by sentence 4. I do not think the variations in word use imply different things.

    However, one "over-rule" is that human language is not precise. We don't know what the writer is thinking. In English we often say "what the writer is trying to say", to recognize that words are attempts to communicate ideas.

    Every one of these sentences could have multiple meanings. Common sense tells us to assume a "reasonable" meaning. But sometimes that is wrong -- the writer may not think the same way the reader thinks. That is why a good writer, when he is expressing an unusual idea, repeats himself. He says the idea 2 or more times, using different words each time.

    For example:

    3a. If Johnny lives to 80, he will see a lot of interesting people (then). What will people be like in 2058? What will they wear? How will they speak?
     
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