If I had known it would turn out / would have turned out

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Hiden

Senior Member
japanese
In the following sentence, should “it would turn out” be “it would have turned out”?

If I had known it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.

*One of my friends from U.S tells me that the sentence is acceptable in informal speech, but that for the grammar to be technically correct, "If I had known it would turn out" should be "If I had known it would have turned out" because the verbs all need to be in the same tense.
 
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  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think your friend has it the wrong way round, Hiden. There's no need for the perfect in the second clause.

    I didn't know it would turn out like this.
    If I'd known it would turn out this this...


    .....
    Cross-posted with TT and agreeing with him.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The quote in the OP reminds me of the famous saying of the man on his 100th birthday:

    If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

    It's variously attributed.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Hello Hiden, I don't agree with your friend. Your sentence is fine as it stands.
    Thank you for your answer. I'm glad that my sentense is fine.

    I think your friend has it the wrong way round, Hiden. There's no need for the perfect in the second clause.
    As always, thank you for your answer. You always help me out and I'm most grateful.

    The quote in the OP reminds me of the famous saying of the man on his 100th birthday:
    If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.
    Thank you for sharing your insight. It really helps a lot.

    To say the same, could we also say as follows?:

    If I knew it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    That would mean something else.
    Thank you. Can I ask what is the difference in meaning between them?

    (1) If I had known it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.
    (2) If I knew it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    (2) If I knew it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.

    is called a past open conditional. Open because the condition may or may not have been met - unlike the Type III conditional which is a past closed conditional; closed because we know the condition was not met. In (1) we are sure you didn't know it would turn out like this.

    You can tell whether or not the conditional was met in (2) by finding out whether or not the consequence occurred - whether or not you queued over there.


    (1) If I had known it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.
    Here you didn't know, so you didn't queue over there.

    (2) If I knew it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.
    Here maybe you are looking for something like a credit card you have lost, and wondering where it might be. You aren't sure if you knew it would turn out like this. You say to yourself that if you knew it would turn out like this (maybe that you would be in such a hurry), you would have queued over there, so that would be a good place to look for the card.
     
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    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    (1) If I had known it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.
    Here you didn't know, so you didn't queue over there.

    (2) If I knew it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.
    Here maybe you are looking for something like a credit card you have lost, and wondering where it might be. You aren't sure if you knew it would turn out like this. You say to yourself that if you knew it would turn out like this (maybe that you would be in such a hurry), you would have queued over there, so that would be a good place to look for the card.
    From your comments, it seems like (1) refers to a single past event, whereas (2) refers to a habitual situation.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    In a way, Hiden. I'd say the difference is between "then" and "now":
    If I had known [then] ...
    If I knew [now] ..


    The "then" version of the sentence is much more likely.
    ...
    TT, I hope I'm not misrepresenting you!
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    In a way, Hiden. I'd say the difference is between "then" and "now":
    If I had known [then] ...
    If I knew [now] ..


    The "then" version of the sentence is much more likely.
    ...
    TT, I hope I'm not misrepresenting you!
    Thank you for your insight. Yes, I think that is what TT-san means.

    Some linguists point out that in informal speech, American English sometimes uses past subjunctive in the if-clause, even in cases where past perfect subjunctive should be used:

    (1) He hadn’t seen Nova in months and he missed her. But she didn’t care about him. If she did, she would have contacted him. (Kashino & Uchikiba)

    (2) [After getting Professor Dent, Evans says to his boss] "Ah, you wouldn’t have really had me killed if I didn’t get the professor?" (Scenario in Spider-Man: Dragons Challenge

    (3) Hide: Why didn't you send the package by plane? My friend: If I sent you them directly by plane, it would have cost twice as much. (Message addressed to me)

    I think “If I knew it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there” is another example of what they are referring to
     
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    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    From your comments, it seems like (1) refers to a single past event, whereas (2) refers to a habitual situation.
    This isn't the point I was making, Hiden, and what I was saying has nothing to do with then and now. I'm confident that Loob was thinking of a different case.

    I was concentrating on the difference between the past closed conditional (Type III) - past perfect in the if-clause, past conditional in the main clause ( (1) If I had known it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.) and the past open conditional - simple past in the if-clause, past conditional in the main clause ((2) If I knew it would turn out like this, I would have queued over there.)

    This difference has nothing to do with then and now; in both cases we are considering what happened then - these are past conditionals.

    It would help to have a more eventive verb than to know in the if-clause, and a simpler sentence.

    Consider these two sentences, which use the same tenses, Hiden, as your (1) and (2). You were being chased by a large hairy man with an axe.


    1a. If I had seen him, I would have hidden behind the lorry.
    The condition is closed - YOU DID NOT SEE HIM. It's unlikely, therefore, that you hid behind the lorry.


    2a. If I saw him, I would have hidden behind the lorry.
    The condition is open. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHETHER OR NOT YOU SAW HIM. Maybe his fearful appearance has caused you to lose your memory of the event. However, there may be a street-camera film which shows that you did not hide behind the lorry. This information, together with sentence 2a, tells us that you did not see him. Had the film shown that you did hide behind the lorry, then we could have concluded that you probably did see him. Notice that the open nature of the conditional means that the street camera evidence can indicate whether or not the condition was met; whether or not you hid behind the lorry helps us to know whether or not you saw him.

    Bear in mind that Loob and I are both British, and British and American English are different in their deployment of past tenses. I wouldn't expect an American to agree with much of this post.
     
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    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    This isn't the point I was making, Hiden, and what I was saying has nothing to do with then and now. I'm confident that Loob was thinking of a different case.
    Thank you for clarification. Based on your answer, I will think some more. You answerd my constant questions and I really appreciate it. Again, thanks.
     
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