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past tense

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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past tense

Postby czwfrank » Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:00 am

Dear teacher:

"If you went to see him,he would be delighted."

In sentences like this, what does it mean using past tense "went"?

What does it differ from "if you go to see him,he will be delighted."

Yours sincerely,

Frank :?

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Postby Alan » Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:41 am

For such general points, please see the 'lessons' section under 'conditionals'.

'Went' here is technically a form of the past subjunctive - a verb-form that refers not to the past but to hypothetical events and conditions in the present or future.

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