'Would be surprised' past/future.

< Previous | Next >

Ashraful Haque

Senior Member
Bengali
I was watching a video and saw a guy who looked like someone I know. To make sure, I paused the video and said:
1) 'I would be surprised if it's that guy.'

Then I leaned in and it wasn't actually him. I said:
2) 'I would be surprised if it was him.'

In 1 is would referring to the future? Saying that I may be surprised in the future.

In 2 is would referring to the past? Saying that was not surprised.
 
  • sirpobos

    Member
    English - USA
    #1 does refer to the future.

    To correctly phrase #2 it would be “I would have been surprised if it was him.”
    And yes it refers to the past. The person did not get surprised because it was not him.
     

    Ashraful Haque

    Senior Member
    Bengali
    #1 does refer to the future.

    To correctly phrase #2 it would be “I would have been surprised if it was him.”
    And yes it refers to the past. The person did not get surprised because it was not him.
    So 'would be' would be wrong in the context of 2?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top