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Hi,

Which one the following is correct?

''What would you do if you were in the same situation as Mary?''

a) I would ...

OR b) I would have .....

Please explain to me the differences.

Lately, I have been having some problems with present perfect tense and past perfect tense. Can anyone please explain to me the differences between these two tenses. As far as I know, present perfect tense is used for something still happening and cannot have a definite time.( I have been waiting for you). Past perfect is for something that happened in the past and has already ended. < has definite time.(also, by definite time, what does it acutally mean? Does it mean before,when,last year,etc?)

a)I have completed my homework

b) I had completed my homework<<( Please fix this)(Must past perfect tenses always have a time or be connected with another event?)

Both of them mean that it has been completed in the past, so where am I lost at? Does present perfect tense bring the meaning of -it has been done, it's still done and it's will stay the same in the future? If so, what's the difference between them.

Lastly, I have been struggling with words like always, seldom....

a) I have always wanted to be an artist.

b) I had always wanted to be an artist.(is it grammatically correct?)

What is the differences between the two of them?

Is I always wanted to be an artist the same with''' I want to be an artist''?

a)I always wanted to be an artist.

b)I always want to be an artist.(is the time=past,present, future?)

What is the differences?

As for seldom

A) I seldom do my homework. (Is the time=past,present, future?)

b) I seldom did my homework.

Which is the correct one?

Oh yeah, here's a really stupid question coming from a 15-year old.

a)I wanted to be a gangster.

b)I want to be a gangster.

If I am not mistaken, I wanted-means you had the desire but no longer have it as of present time)(I want-means you still have the desire in you as of present time.) Am I correct?
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I find it much easier to answer one question at a time, so I will address the first one here.

What would you do if you were in the same situation as Mary?

I would take the best advice available.

What would you have done if you had been in the same situation as Mary?

I would have taken the best advice available.

[What will you do if you are in the same situation as Mary? I will take the best advice available.]
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It depends whether you're talking about a situation Mary is in now or a situation she was in in the past.

past ................................... present ...............................future

|

(Mary's situation)

What would you do

if you were in her place?

I would ...

(Mary's situation)

What would you have done

if you had been in her place?

I would have ...

CJ
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Comments  
michaeltingI have been having some problems with present perfect tense and past perfect tense. Can anyone please explain to me the differences between these two tenses.
Tense names shown in brackets. The present perfect uses the present as an anchor point, i.e., a time reference. The past perfect anchors on a point in the past. So if you don't establish a context in the past with another sentence or two, it doesn't make sense to use the past perfect. The past perfect is therefore a 'dependent tense'. It depends on a past context to be meaningful.

past ....................................... present ................................. future

[ present ]

< present perfect ]

[ past ]

< past perfect ]

See Past / Past perfect

See Past perfect

CJ
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This is called an imaginary situation.

'What would you do if you were in the same situation as Mary?''

This sentence is about present situation.although the forms does shwo as if they were related to some past event.The sentence contains two parts:the if part will always have a subjunctive.

such sentences are spoken for an hypothetical situation,an imaginary situation,when you are supposing something,they indicate a sort of unreal past.

What would you do if you got a billion dollars

What would you do if you met a lion on the road to the school

How dould you react if you were a teacher

The answer to such supposition would always take the same form:

I would spend them doing social work

I would ask the lon if he was in his right mind.

I would react like a teacher.
This is called an imaginary situation.

'What would you do if you were in the same situation as Mary?''

This sentence is about present situation.although the forms does shwo as if they were related to some past event.The sentence contains two parts:the if part will always have a subjunctive.

such sentences are spoken for an hypothetical situation,an imaginary situation,when you are supposing something,they indicate a sort of unreal past.

What would you do if you got a billion dollars

What would you do if you met a lion on the road to the school

How dould you react if you were a teacher

The answer to such supposition would always take the same form:

I would spend them doing social work

I would ask the lon if he was in his right mind.

I would react like a teacher.