...if the guy had been following someone and was "made," then it would mean...

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:

make my guy

Sample sentence:

Oh, and I almost forgot, but if the guy had been following someone and was "made," it would mean that the person he was following had discovered that he was being followed.

Reasoning:

I think there is an implied condition in the sample sentence, and I think that the underlined part is an open condition, i.e. it is not counterfactual. If the underlined part is an open condition, then the bolded blue "if" can be replaced with "given that" without changing the meaning of the sentence. The implied condition, as I see it, is the red bolded part I have added to the sentence:

Oh, and I almost forgot, but given that the guy had been following someone and was "made," then in that case, if you were to express this as they have it, it would mean that the person he was following had discovered that he was being followed.

Question:

Is my reasoning correct?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    No. This is what is known as a zero conditional, if that’s something you’ve heard of. If can be replaced with “whenever”, not “given that”.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, Glasguensis. In that case, I wonder why not use "was" instead of "had been", like this:

    [X] Oh, and I almost forgot, but if the guy was following someone and was "made," it would mean that the person he was following had discovered that he was being followed.

    Or why not use "had been" instead of "was", like this:

    [Y] Oh, and I almost forgot, but if the guy had been following someone and had been "made," it would mean that the person he was following had discovered that he was being followed.
     
    Last edited:

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    We generally use the past perfect when we want to be clear that something occurred prior to the timeline of the narrative. But here the event of interest is the tail “being made”, so there’s no reason to use the past perfect.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks Glasguensis. As far as I understand, you're referring to the bolded "had been" in sentence [Y] in post #3. But is sentence [X] in post #3 correct, is it possible to use the past continous "was following" instead of the past perfect continuous "had been following"?
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It is obvious from the context that the following preceded the being made. The original uses the past perfect and then the simple past, but your sentence X is also perfectly acceptable, since we don’t need the additional clarification of the sequence.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the explanation, Glasguensis.

    What is the reason for choosing "had been following" instead of "was following"?

    Does the past perfect continuous "had been following" express duration, as in "he had been following someone since the previous week"? Could the past perfect continuous mean, for example, that after he had been following someone for a week, he was made, i.e. some time had passed since he started following the other person when he was made?
    • Oh, and I almost forgot, but if the guy had been following someone and was "made," it would mean that the person he was following had discovered that he was being followed.
    Does the past continuous "was following" merely state that he was in the process of following the other person when he was made, i.e. the speaker finds it unnecessary to emphasize duration?
    • Oh, and I almost forgot, but if the guy was following someone and was "made," it would mean that the person he was following had discovered that he was being followed.
     
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