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If these are not correct, why? What do they mean?

Orinal Sentence:
1. If they stop making cars now, it would take 60 days to sell everything they have. (What kind of structure is this? How come the tenses don't match and it is correct? How do you know if this sentence is not a mistake? I can't figure this out.:cry: )

2. If they stop making cars now, it will take 60 days to sell everything they have. (How come it is not like this? )
Or like this:
3. If they stopped making cars now, it would take 60 days to sell everything they have.

4. If he kills him, he would go to jail. (If this is wrong, why? #1 is correct? #1 didn't follow the rule?)
5. If they stopped making cars now, it will take 60 days to sell everything they have. (If this is wrong, why? #1 is correct and the tense don't match?

For present imaginary conditional, I can use 'now' right? But for past real conditional, I can't right?
6. If they stopped making cars now, it would take 60 days to sell everything they have.

Thanks.
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Comments  
See what prescriptive grammar has wrought.
Jack,
Not everyone follows the "prescriptions"!
stop ... will
stopped (now) ... would
Those are the "prescriptions"!

CJ
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There is a very good reason why native speakers don't follow the prescriptive "sequence of tenses" or "concord of tenses". These rules are simply not accurate reflections of how language works.

Language needs to describe the infinite. If we followed these errant rules, there would be much we couldn't even say, which is truly a preposterous situaion, isn't it?

Here's a summation from one linguist:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Most of the prescriptive rules of the language mavens [prescriptivists] make no sense on any level. They are bits of folklore that originated for screwball reasons several hundred years ago and have perpetuated themselves ever since. For as long as they have existed, speakers have flouted them, spawning identical plaints about the imminent decline of the language century after century. All the best writers in English have been among the flagrant flouters. The rules conform neither to logic nor tradition, and if they were ever followed they would force writers into fuzzy, clumsy, wordy, ambiguous, incomprehensible prose, in which certain thoughts are not expressible at all. Indeed, most of the "ignorant errors" these rules are supposed to correct display an elegant logic and an acute sensitivity to the grammatical texture of the language, to which the mavens are oblivious.

http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/1994_01_24_thenewrepublic.html

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thanks, this is interesting:
http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/1994_01_24_thenewrepublic.html

Are both of these correct? If not, why? What do they mean?
1. If I remember correctly, I asked ask you about a car last week. (This one looks right to me, but is this a conditional sentence? I notice the tenses don't match?)
2. If I remembered correctly, I asked ask you about a car last week.

Thanks.
If they stop making cars now, it would take 60 days to sell everything they have.

What kind of structure is this?

JTT: I think this even has a grammatical name; mixed conditional.

How come the tenses don't match and it is correct? How do you know if this sentence is not a mistake? I can't figure this out.

JTT: First, yes, it's perfectly correct, Jack. The tenses do match. A present tense form is used in the first part to show that the speaker sees the possibility of "stopping making cars" as more probable than if the past tense FORM had been used.

Using would have made the conditional fall somwhere on a scale of more improbable to impossible in the speaker's mind. While some situations are clearly counterfactual, requiring a past tense FORM {___ed}, for many situations, the choice for ENLs is more wide open. It isn't an either/or, it's a nuance.

in the second part is a tenseless modal verb. Because modals are tenseless [in modern English] they can operate in any time sequence. And they do, don't they?

Would you like a piece of pie?

I would go, but ... .

He would think that!

That would be nice.

NONE of the above are past tense/time.

Even in this sentence of yours,

... it would take 60 days to sell everything they have. ,

we see that "it would take ..." clearly and unequivocably points to a future. You are confused because you have, in all likelihood, been misled into thinking that is the past tense of . That's absolutely false. Drop this bit of nonsense and this perfectly natural English sentence makes perfect sense.

Believe the old canard and that leaves you trapped in the same conundrum as CalifJim.

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For more examples of confusion that has resulted from this "sequence of tenses" nonsense, see also,

"Conditionals"

http://www.EnglishForward.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=63941
JT: Using would have made the conditional fall somwhere on a scale of more improbable to impossible in the speaker's mind.

MrP: I would be interested to hear your description of this distinct nuance.



JTT: Would you like a piece of pie?

MrP: The fact that a word-form is used in one way in one context doesn't mean it can't be used in another way elsewhere.

In this instance, the sentence may relate to an event in the future (the taking of the piece of pie), but the 'would' relates to the past, since the guest's desire (or lack of desire) for a piece of pie is assumed to have existed before the question was asked.

So the question indeed uses 'would' as a past-tense verb: it means 'were you wanting (to take) a piece of pie?'.


JTT: "it would take ..." clearly and unequivocably points to a future.

The construction 'stopped' + 'would' doesn't 'point to the future'. It points nowhere. The condition can either be fulfilled or not fulfilled. But at the moment of making the condition, the outcome doesn't exist. So how can we point to it?

I turn your usual line of argument back on you. One function of past tenses is to express the unreal. That's because we use them to express the unreal in conditional sentences. 'Would' is the star witness in this case: the past tense of 'will'.


General points

JTT: unsupported assertion/personal abuse/blah blah blah.

MrP: First point. Why should we accept your unsupported assertions, rather than our own experiences? This is not a rhetorical question. I'm genuinely interested in why you think we should.

MrP: Second point. I'm sure you don't need to let your emotions get the better of you, JT. This is a discussion about linguistics. It's not the invasion of Iraq.

We're no doubt all very interested in your arguments, but I don't quite see why you think personal comments are going to persuade anyone. Explain it to me.

MrP
Goodness! I'm trapped in a conundrum, and I don't even know it! Emotion: smile

None of the "would" + base-form-of-verb patterns are past. They are all conditional.

"would like" is an idiom for "want"; the substitute is often made for politeness.

"I would go" and "That would be nice" are pure (non-idiomatic) conditional, but their corresponding "if" clauses are not explicitly stated.

"He would think that" is another idiomatic formula in one reading (stressed "would" suggesting something like typical behavior) and a pure conditional in another reading (unstressed "would") - again without an explicit "if" clause.

Historically "would" was the past of "will". That's why in modern English the future of the past (or "conditional") is formed with "would" (or "was going to") and the future of the present is formed with "will" (or "is going to").

As much as it would simplify the structure of English to construe all modals as tenseless or to construe them all as tensed in pairs like "can"-"could", "shall"-"should", etc., neither "all-or-nothing" theory works very well. I think we need to allow ourselves the scope to explain some structures in terms of one formulation and others, in another.

Further, it is useful to separate systemic and non-systemic uses of modals. (The idiomatic uses mentioned are what I'd call examples of non-systemic uses.)
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