If <you know> <you'd known> London so well,

tutu2323

New Member
Korean
Hello,

#1 'If you know London so well, you shouldn’t have got so hopelessly lost.' George said to him, with heavy sarcasm.
#2 'If you'd known London so well, you shouldn’t have got so hopelessly lost.' George said to him, with heavy sarcasm.


Is there any difference between #1 and #2? Which is more common?


Thanks in advance!

Source: Oxford Learner's Grammar: Grammar Finder, John Eastwood
 
Last edited:
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Version #2 doesn't really work: it's lost the tone of sarcasm.

    In the original version, George is implying that the other guy has been putting himself across as some sort of expert on getting around in London, but came unstuck by getting lost. You can't convey that idea by turning it into a counterfactual or Type III conditional.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think #1 is an example of what some call an 'inferential" conditional sentence. A similar type (also sarcastic) has a question in the results clause: If you know London so well, how come we're lost?

    "If" here means "since": since you know London so well, you shouldn't have got hopelessly lost. "Since/if you know London so well..." is ironic or sarcastic. As Donny says, this type of conditional can't be turned into a counterfactual while retaining the sarcasm.
     
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