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If + past simple, would have Options
Joe Kim
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:59:15 PM

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Joined: 9/16/2016
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1. If I saw it, I would have said otherwise.

2. If I'd seen it, I would have said otherwise.

Is #1 correct too?
thar
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 12:44:32 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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2 is right.
1 is wrong.
Joe Kim
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 4:45:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2016
Posts: 706
Neurons: 3,635
Thank you.

If I saw, doesn't this imply past? Why is it impossible to mix past and past perfact together, since past could cover any points on time line?
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020 8:46:38 AM
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Joe Kim wrote:
If I saw, doesn't this imply past? Why is it impossible to mix past and past perfact together, since past could cover any points on time line?

No. In an unreal conditional, "if I saw" means now or in the future. "If I saw it, I would say otherwise." For past time, we need the past perfect, "if I had seen".

There are rare cases in which "if I saw" is used in a real past conditional, e.g. "In those days, if I saw something interesting I used to photograph it". But that does not apply here.
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