If the weather was better, I wouldn't have had to buy a rain jacket.

  • bearded

    Senior Member
    I find that the initial OP sentence in English is not fully consistent, as far as verb tenses are concerned, and I would re-write it as follows:
    If the weather had been better, I wouldn't have had to buy a rain jacket
    (in this case, tellmetellme's formulation would be correct)
    Wäre das Wetter besser gewesen, (dann) hätte ich keine Regenjacke kaufen müssen).

    Another possibility would be:
    If the weather was/were better, I wouldn't have to buy a rain jacket
    Wenn das Wetter besser wäre/wäre das W. besser , (dann) müsste ich keine Regenjacke kaufen.

    The OP sentence is a mixture of the two (secondary clause in present time, main clause in the past), therefore inconsistent.
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    The OP sentence is a mixture of the two (secondary clause in present time, main clause in the past), therefore inconsistent.
    Mixed conditionals are perfectly consistent in both English and German. I take it from your post they aren't in Italian, true?

    If the weather were better in Scotland at this time of year, I wouldn't have had to buy a rain jacket for my holiday.

    He wouldn't have sold the house if his father were still alive.
     
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    tellmetellme

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank you Schimmelreiter. You are right, mixed conditionals are not allowed in Italian. I realize they are in English, but isn't there a difference in style? Aren't they a bit too colloquial?
    But the German version would surprise me! Supposing you are a native speaker would you really say:"Wenn das Wetter besser wäre, hätte ich mir keine Regenjacke kaufen müssen"?
    Ich empfinde diesen Satz als stark ungrammatikalisch. Glaubst du, dass ein deutscher Lehrer diesen Satz nicht korrigieren würde? Oder läßt mich mein Sprachgefühl im Stich?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In English, the two possibilities are both valid.

    Referring to a holiday a year before the time of speaking, for example, we can say:

    (a) 'If the weather had been better, I would not have had to buy a rain jacket'.

    This makes clear that both clauses refer to the past.
    At the same time, it leaves open the question whether the jacket was bought before the holiday or during it.

    Referring to a holiday which is going on at the time of speaking, we can say:

    (b) 'If the weather were better, I would not have had to buy a rain jacket'.

    This means either that the bad weather is still going on (if the jacket was bought during the holiday) or that it had been expected beforehand (if the jacket was bought in advance).
     
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    bearded

    Senior Member
    I understand 'weather' as current weather, not climate. I know you have no consecutio temporum in German, SR, but the OP sentence appears also logically faulty (to me). If now...I would not have had...:confused:

    Edit: cross-posted with wandle.
     
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    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I understand 'weather' as current weather, not climate. I know you have no consecutio temporum in German, SR, but the OP sentence appears also logically faulty (to me). If now...I would not have had...:confused:
    If the speaker is on holiday, it is natural to speak in reference to the whole period of the holiday.
    If it has rained the whole time and is still raining, this is a single period of bad weather.

    'If the weather on this holiday were not so bad, I would not have had to buy a rain jacket'.

    This seems logical to me, if it is spoken in the second week of a three-week holiday, if it has rained every day so far, and if the jacket had been bought in the first week.

    I am reminded of the holiday maker in Ireland who said, 'I've been here a week and it's only rained twice: once for three days and once for four days'.
     

    Gezedka

    New Member
    Basque
    Mixed conditionals are coming in fashion everywhere. I learnt English and German almost at the same time and that was a long time ago. Frequently, I was corrected at school by my German teacher for using this sort of English flexibility. But you still might find people speaking more consistently when the context requires it. Long story short: es kommt darauf an, 'wie lange' das Wetter schlecht war. Wenn dieselben Wetterverhältnisse andauern - auch nachdem er / sie den Regenmantel gekauft hat -, dann ist das nicht eine Frage des Stils. Not if you live in the UK.
     

    cuore romano

    Senior Member
    I find that the initial OP sentence in English is not fully consistent, as far as verb tenses are concerned, and I would re-write it as follows:
    If the weather had been better, I wouldn't have had to buy a rain jacket
    (in this case, tellmetellme's formulation would be correct)
    Wäre das Wetter besser gewesen, (dann) hätte ich keine Regenjacke kaufen müssen).

    Another possibility would be:
    If the weather was/were better, I wouldn't have to buy a rain jacket
    Wenn das Wetter besser wäre/wäre das W. besser , (dann) müsste ich keine Regenjacke kaufen.

    The OP sentence is a mixture of the two (secondary clause in present time, main clause in the past), therefore inconsistent.
    :thumbsup:

    If the speaker is on holiday, it is natural to speak in reference to the whole period of the holiday.
    If it has rained the whole time and is still raining, this is a single period of bad weather.

    'If the weather on this holiday were not so bad, I would not have had to buy a rain jacket'.

    This seems logical to me, if it is spoken in the second week of a three-week holiday, if it has rained every day so far, and if the jacket had been bought in the first week.
    Auch wenn der Gedankengang logisch ist: Das Wetter war in den letzten Tagen schlecht, und daher habe ich mir eine Regenjacke gekauft.
    Für mich klingt dies
    Wenn das Wetter besser wäre, hätte ich mir keine Regenjacke kaufen müssen.
    schlicht falsch.


    Thank you Schimmelreiter. You are right, mixed conditionals are not allowed in Italian. I realize they are in English, but isn't there a difference in style? Aren't they a bit too colloquial?
    But the German version would surprise me! Supposing you are a native speaker would you really say:"Wenn das Wetter besser wäre, hätte ich mir keine Regenjacke kaufen müssen"?
    Ich empfinde diesen Satz als stark ungrammatikalisch. Glaubst du, dass ein deutscher Lehrer diesen Satz nicht korrigieren würde? Oder läßt mich mein Sprachgefühl im Stich?
    Ich auch, und ich würde es korrigieren.
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    cuore romano,
    ich bin mir jetzt nicht sicher, ob Du den Satz aus logisch-semantischen Gründen ablehnst oder eine Verbindung der beiden Irreales (Gegenwart + Vergangenheit) grundsätzlich als ungrammatisch betrachtest:

    Paul hat gestern geheiratet. Sein Bruder wäre sicher zur Hochzeit gekommen, wenn er nicht im Krankenhaus wäre.
     

    cuore romano

    Senior Member
    Ich tue mich schwer mit der Verbindung von Gegenwart und Vergangenheit.
    Natürlich ist dein Beispielsatz klar/eindeutig, trotzdem würde ich auch hier gewesen einfügen.

    Andererseits

    Sein Bruder wäre sicher zur Hochzeit gekommen, wenn er nicht im Krankenhaus gewesen wäre.

    könnte man dann auch denken, dass er jetzt schon wieder draußen ist, oder?
     
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