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Are the words in bold correctly used?

 
 
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 12:23 pm
Fairness for all: Anwar was only calling a spade a spade. In any case, I can understand Anwar's anger after how Najib keeps trying to frame Anwar for one offence after another. I don't blame Anwar.

If I were in his place and someone did that to me, I would have used even worse words to call him. I can imagine the pressure and tension Anwar has to go through.

Are the words in bold correctly used?

Thanks.
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 1,184 • Replies: 29
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 12:57 pm
@tanguatlay,
Yes, in my opinion.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 01:12 pm
@ossobuco,
I agree with ossobuco
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 01:20 pm
If it were up to me, i'd say yes.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 10:31 pm
@tanguatlay,
Bookmark
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 11:09 pm
Yeah, they're correct. It's all in the subjunctive mood, and verbs inflect in several ways in the various forms of the subjunctive.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2011 11:49 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Bookmark
Hi JTT

What do you mean by 'Bookmark'? Thanks.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 09:15 am
@tanguatlay,
Bookmark is a way to mark a thread in order to peruse it later, Ms Tan, so it doesn't get lost in bowels of A2K.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 09:42 am
@JTT,
Thanks, JTT.

Does it mean that the jury is not out yet?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 10:13 am
@tanguatlay,
Yes, the jury is still out.

I'm hoping that a further discussion can help with what seems to be a recurring issue for you.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 10:20 am
@JTT,
Thanks, JTT.

Does it mean that the jury is not out yet? After reading your comment, I realise that I have made a mistake in my earlier post when I said that the jury is not out yet? It should be your version: The jury is still out.

The paragraph is from a newspaper report. That's why I do not want to question the reporter's way of writing as I am not a native speaker of English. I prefer to hear from forum members.

I would assume that the said sentence is correct as pointed out by the members who have responded.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 10:53 am
@FBM,
And this guy teaches grad students English.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 10:56 am
@tanguatlay,
As you have asked, Ms Tan, you must have some concerns with it. What are your concerns?

0 Replies
 
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 11:02 am
@JTT,
Hi JTT, may I have your comments on the paragraph? It would appear that you do not think the sentence is correct. If so, you are the only native who believes the sentence is not correctly written.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 11:48 am
@tanguatlay,
Quote:
Hi JTT, may I have your comments on the paragraph? It would appear that you do not think the sentence is correct. If so, you are the only native who believes the sentence is not correctly written.


I've not stated that it's incorrect, nor have I suggested that it's incorrect, Ms Tan. I'm certainly willing to give you my take on it but I'd like you to first describe why you raised this as an issue.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 12:11 pm
@JTT,
Hi JTT

If I were in his place and someone did that to me, I would have used even worse words to call him. I can imagine the pressure and tension Anwar has to go through.

As I said in my first post of this thread, I think the verbs are inconsistent.

If I were in his place and someone did that to me, I would use even worse words to call him. I would write 'would use' for the second part of the sentence instead of 'would have used'.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 01:04 pm
@tanguatlay,
Personally, I feel the verbs are inconsistent too.

If I had been in his place I would have used even worse words.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 01:22 pm
@tanguatlay,
Hello to you, Ms Tan.

If I were in his place and someone did that to me, I would have used even worse words to call him. I can imagine the pressure and tension Anwar has to go through.


Quote:
As I said in my first post of this thread, I think the verbs are inconsistent.

If I were in his place and someone did that to me, I would use even worse words to call him.

I would write 'would use' for the second part of the sentence instead of 'would have used'.


Oops, sorry. I've been busy, so I didn't remember that. Embarrassed

I guess that you mean inconsistent in that they don't follow the rules known as Sequence of Tenses/Tense Concord/... .

If so, as I've explained a number of times, there are no such rules in the English language. If there were rules like that, they wouldn't be broken with the great frequency that they are.

1) If I were in his place and someone did that to me, I would have used even worse words to call him.

In this the writer/speaker imagines himself as being Anwar in the habitual sense. We know this because the reality that is the opposite to,

If I were in his place and someone did that to me,

is,

I'm not in his place and no one did that to me.

The second part, 'would have used' focuses either on a past one time utterance, by Anwar, of words or multiple utterances by Anwar.

It's not at all impossible for a person to think of a routine/habitual situation and then change to think of a past time event. As these are things that humans can do and do do, that means that there obviously have to be grammatical structures that allow this.

Conversely [the other side of the coin] that means that, in reality, there can't be any rules that would stop a speaker/writer from engaging in this behavior.

2)If I had been in his place and someone had done that to me, I would have used even worse words to call him.

In this case, the speaker/writer has simply [slightly] shifted the focus - with a meaning like, "If I had been standing in his shoes at that time".

Your example,

If I were in his place and someone did that to me, I would use even worse words to call him.

is also equally possible. Which one is the most common? That's hard to say.

My gut feeling, with nothing else to back me up, is that if the focus is clearly on a past event, the greater tendency would be to use,

'had been - would have






izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 01:44 pm
@JTT,
The original sounds fine to me. I think it's something to do with the cadence of English this side of the pond. 'I would have used' sounds more like you're in his place in the past, whereas 'I would use,' sounds more like what you would do in a similar situation.

You've said before there are no hard and fast rules, and I think it's got more to do with which side of the pond you're on than anything else, as our speech patterns are different.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2011 02:01 pm
@izzythepush,
The original sounds fine to me too, Izzy.

Quote:
You've said before there are no hard and fast rules, and I think it's got more to do with which side of the pond you're on than anything else, as our speech patterns are different.


I don't recall saying exactly that, for there certainly are a lot of hard and fast rules.
 

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