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Why is the if clause written in past tense instead of past perfect in this sentence?

“they would have not done that if it was not safe”

  • Because it's still safe. So the condition applies to the present, even though the main clause only applies to the hypothetical past. They could equally well have used past perfect. – Peter Shor Oct 12 '17 at 1:29
  • The sentence sounds clumsy, "would not have done that" seems to flow better. – Barmar Oct 16 '17 at 19:27

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