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Three Hypothetical Patterns about the Past

 
 
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2020 06:47 am
Hi, guys. I joined the forum back in 2007. A lot of websites have come and gone since then. I am amazed to find able2know still up and running.

In my reading I have encountered the following three patterns, which all talk about a hypothesis about the past. They mean the same. My questions are:

1 Are they all grammatically right?
2 Which one would you go for if you expressed the same idea?
3 Which one is supposed to be the best if any?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Look at the three patterns.
I got married over 20 years ago. I still remember the wedding as if it were yesterday.
I got married over 20 years ago. I still remember the wedding as if it happened yesterday.
I got married over 20 years ago. I still remember the wedding as if it had happened yesterday.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 323 • Replies: 6

 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2020 08:15 am
@shengliver,
All three are grammatically correct. I would use the first and prefer the first because it’s the shortest. A good rule of thumb is to use as few words as possible, every word needs to add something, if it doesn’t, leave it out.

Having said that I would add can after still, so it says I still can remember the wedding, because that sounds more natural.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2020 08:16 am
@shengliver,
As far as grammatical concerns, they’re all acceptable. I’d choose #1 because it’s the most succinct as well as being clear. No one would raise an eyebrow with any of the choices.

{edit: Izzy and I agree}
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2020 08:30 am
@shengliver,
Quote:
I am amazed to find able2know still up and running.
welcome back, shengliver.

i am equally amazed that you found your way back here... Smile
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2020 08:37 am
@Ragman,
We often do.
0 Replies
 
shengliver
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2020 07:09 am
I had trouble reposting the reply after I deleted it. I was warned that I was doing a duplicate post. Is it a bug of the site? Let me see if it will work by adding some words.

Thank you all for your replies.

One thing that still baffles me is that you Americans do not make a distinction between “happened” and “had happened”. One is in the past tense; the other in the past perfect tense. Here in China most of my colleagues (I am a teacher of English incidentally) thought that “had happened” is more reasonable since the sentence is a hypothesis about the past. We normally employ the simple past tense to talk about a hypothesis about the present. Compare the following 2 examples.

I wish I were a teenager now. (I am not a teenager.)
I wish I had married my high school sweetheart. (I did not marry her.)

Could you guys shed light on my bafflement? Thanks.
shengliver
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2020 07:10 am
@shengliver,
Thank Goodness, it worked. Pardon me for the first paragraph, please.
0 Replies
 
 

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