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

If such stage was completed based on un-signed English financial statements (USEFS), the doer is to initial all pages of the USEFS.

Is the above sentence grammatically correct with two different tenses? I have argued with my friend that the above sentence was wrong as the tenses used were different: "the if tense is in the past while the second part is in the present" and the sentence in this form would be awkward for English native speakers.

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by FumbleFingers, tchrist, MετάEd, Mitch, Matt E. Эллен Dec 10 '12 at 13:00

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This just looks like proofreading to me. Voting to close as Too Localised. – FumbleFingers Dec 9 '12 at 6:22
@FumbleFingers I think the sentence is correct and we may understand it as an example of the problem which OP feels (mistakenly, in my opinion) it exhibits. – StoneyB Dec 9 '12 at 6:35
@StoneyB: What "real-world" problem does this represent? If OP is attempting to write this kind of legalese, I want no part of it. If he's hoping we'll agree he's found an error in his contract, again, I don't want to be involved. If he just wants to know whether the two tenses are correct in such constructions, he could have presented a more sensible example, such as "If you did A, you are to do B". – FumbleFingers Dec 9 '12 at 13:13
...(which, after scrolling down, I see you have effectively paraphrased yourself! :) – FumbleFingers Dec 9 '12 at 13:15
@FumbleFingers On this argument, we must ban as Too Localised any question which includes any example, whether from Milton or Microsoft or Maureen Dowd. The example is Local; the question is General. – StoneyB Dec 9 '12 at 14:28

Your example sentence is proper. According to Wikipedia, a sentence of the type called the first conditional is used

to express a hypothetical condition that is potentially true, but not yet verified. The conditional clause is in the present or past tense and refers to a state or event in the past. The result can be in the past, present, or future.

Think of your example as equivalent to

If you did that yesterday, you must now do this today.

Obviously you cannot cast both clauses in the same tense here.

share|improve this answer

It’s an unhappy sentence altogether. You can at least get round any problem of verb forms by substituting must for is to in the main clause.

share|improve this answer

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