They would’ve thrown you through the Moon Door. conditional3

xiaokyao

Senior Member
chinese
They would’ve thrown you through the Moon Door, if they found you guilty. These words come from Game of Thrones, a famous TV show.
A girl said these to a man who saved her life after she lied about the man killing someone for her to those that interrogate the man. But what she said was totally hypothetical and it happened in the past. So I feel the speaker is using the conditional3 in this sentence. But shouldn't it be “they would’ve thrown you through the Moon Door, if they had found you guilty”
There’s a similar sentence in the “Friends”, an old American TV show. Ross’s ex-wife is lesbian. But she still gets married to Ross. Then they get divorced.
Ross says “Why would I have married her if I saw on any level that she was a lesbian?” when a shrink analyze his divorce.
But “Why would I have married her if I had seen on any level that she was a lesbian?” seems more logical to me. Because Ross didn’t know her ex was lesbian until they got married.
Could you please help me explain them? Thank you so much!
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think your first case is different from your second, Ziaokyao.

    The question is whether or not you want to use the 3rd conditional or the 2nd/3rd mixed. The 2nd/3rd mixed is appropriate where the conditional clause presents ongoing circumstances which still apply - If I liked dogs, I would have allowed it into the house (you still don't like dogs).

    So is 'if they found you guilty' an ongoing circumstance, like not liking dogs? I think not.

    But how about 'if I saw at any level that she was a lesbian'? That seems more possible.

    Then you want to take into account the fact that AE often uses the simple past where BE would probably prefer the past perfect. That can complicate the issue. I think AE sometimes seems to use the 2nd/3rd when actually meaning the 3rd.
     

    xiaokyao

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Hello, Thomas! Thank you for your time! I'm starting to get the point. As long as the if clause happened in the past and still is an ongoing event, then I could use conditional 3. I can understand "if I saw at any level that she was a lesbian" when you explained it to me. Maybe Ross still can't tell whether his ex a lesbian until now. It's an ongoing event. So It's logical. In my first case, maybe they still haven't found this man guilty by now. So he used 2nd and 3rd mixed.If they found out his guilty after they realized they should throw him out but they missed the oppotunity and didn't do so, then I should use if they had found you guilty. Am I right?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    [...]As long as the if clause happened in the past and still is an ongoing event, then I could use conditional 3.[...] Am I right?
    You need to look at this again, and study the difference between the 3rd conditional and the mixed II/III.

    It's the mixed II/III where the condition has to apply both at the time, in the past, and also continue to apply now.

    Look at this thread:

    I tried to explain the difference there, like this -

    You have a choice between:

    3rd conditional: If I had been with you, I would have eaten some ice cream.


    This means you were not with them on that occasion, and so you didn't eat the ice cream.

    Mixed 2nd/3rd conditional: If I were with you, I would have eaten some ice cream.

    This means that you are not with them now and were not with them then, and so you didn't eat the ice cream.
     

    xiaokyao

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Sorry, I didn't look at what I typed before I posted it. I was a typo. I wanted to say mixed2 and 3. Sorry, I understand the basic rules of mixed conditional case as you offered. Thank you for your quick reply. But frankly I feel the example you gave me sounds odd too. If were with you, I would've eaten some ice cream. It's difficult for me to think of a context under which this one could be used.:) The only reason why I didn't have any ice cream that I can think of is you weren't with me. As for whether you're with me or not wouldn't change the fact that I didn't eat some ice cream. Even thought all of them were totally hypotheticall.It still doesnt seem very logical to me.:) Maybe In English you seem to be able to express your feelings and indicate time at the same time. But we can't do this with my language.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If I were with you, I would've eaten some ice cream. It's difficult for me to think of a context under which this one could be used.:) The only reason why I didn't have any ice cream that I can think of is you weren't with me.
    That's not the situation.
    John: I went to a party last night. There was ice cream but I didn't eat any.
    Susan: If I were with you (at the party), I would have eaten some ice cream.
    The ice cream was with John at the party. Susan didn't eat the ice cream because she was not with John at the party.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Sorry, I didn't look at what I typed before I posted it. I was a typo. I wanted to say mixed2 and 3. Sorry, I understand the basic rules of mixed conditional case as you offered. Thank you for your quick reply. But frankly I feel the example you gave me sounds odd too. If were with you, I would've eaten some ice cream. It's difficult for me to think of a context under which this one could be used.:) The only reason why I didn't have any ice cream that I can think of is you weren't with me. As for whether you're with me or not wouldn't change the fact that I didn't eat some ice cream. Even thought all of them were totally hypotheticall.It still doesnt seem very logical to me.:) Maybe In English you seem to be able to express your feelings and indicate time at the same time. But we can't do this with my language.
    Yes, I take the point. I think the example was forced upon me by circumstances. I can think of a situation in which it would work, but let's give you another example, if you don't fancy that one.

    If I liked that politician, I would have joined you at the party - you don't like him now, and you didn't like him then. Mixed II/III.
    If I had liked that politician, I would have joined you at the party - you didn't like him on that occasion - there's a suggestion that you hadn't met him before; we don't know what you think of him now. Conditional III.
     

    xiaokyao

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Hello, Myridon! Thanks for your reply! Your statement sounds logical. But I was wondering if it would be better if I said "If I had been with you at the party, I would have eaten some ice cream." And as Thomas mentioned, AE often uses the simple past where BE would probably prefer the past perfect. So would it possible the first sentence I posted was fit this theory. I mean, maybe If I had been with you at the party, I would have eaten some ice cream. and if I were with you at the party ,I would've eaten some ice cream. have the same meaning in the daily speech or informal conversation. :)
     
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