If thunder screams/screamed, cloud will/would cry

Gisty

Member
Indonesian-Malay
Hi, I am in two mind about the conditional sentence below:
"If thunder screams/screamed, cloud will/would cry"
I do not know wether I should use screams/screamed here. But I think screams is correct.
I need your help.
Thanks in advance.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    As a general statement, I would keep "screams": If thunder screams, clouds will cry. But I probably like "When" rather than "If" -- unless I really don't understand the sentence. :)
     

    Gisty

    Member
    Indonesian-Malay
    Thanks, Copyright. Conditional sentences always confuse me. Isn't it a contrary to fact?:
    "If thunder screams (but it can't scream. Only human can scream), clouds will cry (clouds can't cry. Only human and animals can cry)"
    That makes me think that it's not a general statement but a contrary to fact conditionals. Therefore, I sometimes think that 'screamed' work here.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    This is where I ask where you found this sentence, or did you make it up?

    Thunder can scream and clouds can surely cry in novels -- writers can do anything if they create a believable enough world. If I'm giving thunder the ability to scream, then it stands to fictional reason that clouds would cry.

    So there are a several ways to say it:
    If thunder can scream, then clouds can cry.
    If thunder screams, then clouds cry.
    When thunders screams, the clouds will cry.


    But if this is some famous writer saying this, we might have to have another look. :)
     

    Gisty

    Member
    Indonesian-Malay
    Thanks again, Copyright.
    No, it's not from a famous writer. I made it up. But I wasn't sure which types of conditionals to use. And you've made it a bit clear now
     
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