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Lady Gaga says:

I would fall apart if you break my heart.

Should it not be 'broke' instead of 'break' like a type 2 conditional sentence?

  • 2
    You can't expect poetry to follow grammar. – Lambie Jul 9 '18 at 19:18
  • Yeah, but does it not seem strange to your ears? I'm not a native speaker but the moment I heard it, I felt it was odd. – Ali Last Jul 9 '18 at 19:31
  • No, people often talk like that. Though I personally would not. – Lambie Jul 9 '18 at 19:33
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According to Education First:

In a Type 2 conditional sentence, the tense in the 'if' clause is the simple past, and the tense in the main clause is the present conditional or the present continuous conditional.

In your sentence, we have the following:

If you break my heart.

Break is not the simple past of to break. It is the simple present. Therefore, at least according to the Education First definition, it is not a Type 2 conditional sentence.

The simple past of to break is broke (as you indicate), and the sentence should be rephrased if you want it to be in a Type 2 conditional form:

I would fall apart if you broke my heart.

Of course, there are many valid sentence constructions, and this particular one isn't a requirement for conveying a particular meaning.

For instance, although not the same form, the sentence could also read:

I will fall apart if you break my heart.

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The action of falling apart will happen every-time someone breaks her heart. So to me, it sounds like repetitive and fact stating statement. We use simple present tense to indicate such kind of actions that happens repetitive and fact, thus break is being used.

To elaborate more, you can paraphrase this statement like this - Whenever you break my heart, i would fall apart.

  • This is not a satisfactory answer, and incorrect on several points. (not my DV, btw) – Cascabel Jul 9 '18 at 18:59
  • That's fine with me, I have just written based on my thinking of why "break" is being used in the sentence instead of "broke". Thanks @Cascabel – Ajay P. Prajapati Jul 9 '18 at 19:01
  • The comment section is where we post "thoughts". Please visit the Help Page on how to post a good answer or question. – Cascabel Jul 9 '18 at 19:07

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