English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What type of conditional sentences should be used in a context like this?

(This person graduated from school many years ago.)

You know, my mother went to school and said that until she(the teacher) had apologised I wouldn't have attended her classes.

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by MετάEd, kiamlaluno, tchrist, RegDwigнt Oct 2 '12 at 12:30

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This sounds like a school assignment. Could you say why you believe the sentence you quote is right or wrong? And perhaps show it's a quote? You only need the relevant part of the story, "My mother said that until the teacher had apologised I wouldn't have attended her classes." – Andrew Leach Sep 11 '12 at 8:45
I thought it is the third type of conditional as it refers to a situation in the past. One of my penpals and I were talking about school and I told her about 'the worst teaher' I ever had at school.I was not sure if I chose the right conditional. – Monica Sep 11 '12 at 9:08
Related/ – tchrist May 15 at 18:36
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Before we try conditionals, I think we could do with some simple reported speech.

This is the context I inferred from your question (please correct me if I'm wrong):

  • Direct Speech

My mother went to school and said (to the teacher): "Until you apologize, my daughter won't attend your classes."

  • Reported Speech

You know, my mother went to school and told my teacher that until she apologized, I wouldn't attend her classes.

I suppose because the sentence is part of an ongoing narrative, it would be enough to just use reported speech and its tenses rule.

But if we isolate your target sentence, you can employ your past conditional:

My mother went to school and talked to my teacher. If she hadn't apologized, I wouldn't have attended her classes.

share|improve this answer
Those were exactly my mother's words. You are right. Thanks :) But since it's not a part of an ongoing activity I will use 'hadn't apologized' and 'wouldn't have attended' forms. Or do I misunderstand something? – Monica Sep 11 '12 at 10:48
What I mean by ongoing narrative is, inside the story that you're narrating to your penpal, your mother's condition is actually still in the middle of the event. As in: go to school >>> talk >>> condition given. They're all in one sentence. Break the ideas down into separate sentences and you can use the past conditional. – Cool Elf Sep 11 '12 at 11:02
Now it's clear to me. – Monica Sep 11 '12 at 11:25

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.