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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Conditional tenses    

Conditional tenses


Conditional tenses

Regarding the second/third conditional,

do I have to say "if you (had)found out that it is" or "if you (had) found out that it was"?
First one, right?


18 Jun 2010      

Bruna Dutra

Hi, Regina!

Well, I �m not too sure about what your whole sentence is, but let me see if I can help.

In your sentence, in my opinion the thing is not about the conditionals, because the second part of the sentence would still have to be continued. Like this:

If you found out that your boyfriend IS gay, what would you do?

If you had found out that your boyfriend WAS gay (sonner), what would you have done?

but either way, I guess that in these cases, your boyfriend is still (obviously) gay, so there �s not a necessity to use the past. Just like reported speech cases that you don �t need to pass the verb to past because they are true statements for the present:

EX.: She told me that she IS pregnant. (not was).

Don �t know if I �m completely right, but that �s what I could understand from your question. Hope I have helped a little!
; )

Regards from Brazil!

18 Jun 2010     


Hi Regina

It �s similar to reported speech in that it very much depends on the context.

I would generally use �was � however but �is � wouldn �t be incorrect.

In Bruna �s examples, I would say �If you found out your boyfriend was gay, what would you do? � �If you had found out your boyfriend was gay, what would you have done? � - but the use of �is � would not be wrong either.

Happy World Cup!


18 Jun 2010     


you are definitely right Lindsey!Tongue

18 Jun 2010     


Hey, y �all,

Thank you so much for your answers and thank you for confirming me in my belief. I had a feeling that "is" was right but I couldn �t explain why. It didn �t dawn on me that I should compare it to reported speech. Is there a web site, though, where I could read up on tenses in "that-clauses"? I couldn �t find any that were decent.

Lindsey, earlier today my 7th graders made me say that I believed that they (the German 11) would win....well, no raging elephants in my backyard tonight......that is pretty much what the world cup sounds like in Germany, provided they are winning ;o)


18 Jun 2010