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Why don’t these sentences work? 1. If I were to go to cinema tomorrow, I would have bought a ticket yesterday. 2. If I were to go to cinema, I would have bought a ticket. Hi. I was told that the two sentences don’t work. Could you please explain why they don’t work? Thank you
Sep 10, 2019 12:22 PM
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Answers · 3
They don't work because the two halves of the sentence are mismatched : the clauses of these sentences belong to two unrelated 'stories'. 'If I were to go to the cinema tomorrow' is one half of a conditional sentence telling us what would occur as a result of a future non-reality. For example, 'If I were to go to the cinema tomorrow, I would probably miss my flight' or 'If I were to go to the cinema tomorrow, I could pick you up on the way'. The speaker is not planning to go to the cinema tomorrow, but they are hypothesising about what would happen or what would be possible if they did go to the cinema tomorrow. There is no logical way that this imagined future scenario could have a result in the past - the only possible results would also be in the future. Edited PS: How would you correct this sentence? One way is to focus on the speaker's (present) intention or plan about tomorrow. Fact: "I am not going to the cinema tomorrow" Hypothetical non-fact: "If I were going to the cinema tomorrow..." For example: "I'm not going to the cinema tomorrow, but * if I were going to the cinema tomorrow, I'd have bought a ticket yesterday*. With popular films, you need to buy tickets at least two days in advance."
September 10, 2019
If you changed "were" to "wanted," then the two sentences would work. Or if you added "planning": "If I were planning to go to cinema, I would have bought a ticket."
September 10, 2019
zuotengdazuo
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese
Learning Language
English, Japanese