she would <have sat><be sitting> and <would be whining><I would've expected her to whine>

Discussion in 'English Only' started by JJXR, Jul 12, 2018 at 1:26 PM.

  1. JJXR Senior Member

    Russian
    Hello to all,

    Thanks for reading my post.


    Context:

    According to my seating plan, my grandma is now sitting next to me and my sister. My mom asks me why she isn't sitting next to my boyfriend's grandma (they don't like each other). I say one of the sentences below to my mom to explain why.

    Sample sentences:

    1. If she had sat there, she would have sat next to someone she didn't like and would now be whining.

    2. If she had sat there, she would have sat next to someone she didn't like and I would have expected her to whine all evening.

    3. If she had sat there, she would be sitting next to someone she didn't like and would be whining.

    Interpretation:

    Sentence #1: But she hasn't sat there, so she hasn't sat next to someone she doesn't like, and so she isn't whining now.

    Sentence #2: But she hasn't sat there, so she hasn't sat next to someone she doesn't like, and so I don't expect her to whine all evening.

    Sentence #3:
    But she hasn't sat there, so she isn't sitting next to someone she doesn't like, and so she isn't whining.

    Question:

    Are the bolded tenses correct, and is my interpretation of them correct?


    Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

    Regards,
    JJXR
     
  2. Franco-filly Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - Southern England
    As you are only referring to a seating plan none of your sentences work because the verb tenses are incorrect. "If she had/hasn't sat there" refer to something that might have happened in the past and you are discussing something that could happen in the future, so need to say "If she sits there../ If she were to sit there..../ If we sat her there..."
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 2:58 PM
  3. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I don't share F-f's objection to the choice of the pluperfect in the if-clause: as I read it, 'she' has in fact sat somewhere other than where she was supposed to have sat according to the seating plan and therefore the conditions relate to a counterfactual past scenario. So I would say the tense interpretations are broadly correct.

    I'm not sure that in (3) you don't need the conditional perfect "would have been sitting" as in (1) and (2). She hasn't sat there and hasn't been sitting next to someone she doesn't like. :)
     
  4. C.S.Hy

    C.S.Hy New Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    How about this version:

    If she sat there, she would be sitting next to someone she does not like, and would be whining now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 4:05 PM
  5. Franco-filly Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - Southern England
    I see your point. I did consider that they might actually be at the event now and referring to the seating plan.;)
     
  6. ain'ttranslationfun? Senior Member

    US English
    I'd go with "...and would be whining now."

    In the OP, we read "...my grandma is now sitting next to me and my sister."

    By the way,I dn't think she can be sitting "next to" both you and your sister; did you mean she was sitting "between" you and your sister?
     
  7. JJXR Senior Member

    Russian
    Thank you all for the responses.
    Yes, that's what I mean.
     
  8. C.S.Hy

    C.S.Hy New Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    I agree with you, ain. I revised my posting and then found your response. Thank you.
     
  9. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Yes, they are correct. There may be other interpretations, but I take "If she had sat there" in these 3 sentences to mean "Had she sat there" and to me they mean:

    1. If she had sat there, she would have sat next to someone she didn't like and would now be whining.
    = "If she is not whining now, i.e. if she did not sit next to someone she doesn't like, then she didn't sit there."

    2. If she had sat there, she would have sat next to someone she didn't like and I would have expected her to whine all evening.
    = "If I didn't expect her to whine all evening, i.e. if she did not sit next to someone she didn't like, then she didn't sit there."

    3. If she had sat there, she would be sitting next to someone she didn't like and would be whining.
    = "If she is not whining, i.e. if she is not sitting next to someone she doesn't like, then she didn't sit there."

    In each case, the speaker apparently believes that the seat in question was next to someone that "she" disliked enough to make her whine.
     
  10. JJXR Senior Member

    Russian
    Thanks for the explanation, Forero.
     

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