1

If you had gone to the football game yesterday, you should have invited me to go with you. (Follows structure, sounds weird)

If you were going to the football game yesterday, you should have invited me to go with you. (

  • But this conditional contains past continuous, while the structure of the third conditional is: if + past perfect, …would + have + past participle. Why so?
2
  • 1
    Or : If you were going to go ... you could have invited me ... This puts the ability to invite immediately at the point of the decision to go.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 16:31
  • Could you please give more context to the statements? The first sentence would pose no problem in the first person, there would be no problem, since ‘I should have’ does not necessarily mean ‘I ought to have’. It can mean ‘I would have’ and there is nothing wrong with that. Otherwise, the sentence IS weird. You cannot have a duty to have done something you would have have had a duty to do if you had gone to the match (but didn’t)!. It puts us in a hall of temporal mirrors. The only way out is: “If you had gone ... you would have had a duty to invite me.”
    – Tuffy
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 0:22

1 Answer 1

2

If you had gone to the football game yesterday, you should have invited me to go with you.

As you say, this sounds weird. The only way I can read the should is obligation, which doesn't fit with the counterfactual If you have gone.

If you had gone to the football game yesterday, you would have invited me to go with you.

This is grammatically fine, though perhaps an odd thing to say.

If you were going to the football game yesterday, you should have invited me to go with you.

This works as a non-counter-factual conditional (I think that means that it is not what you call a third conditional: this terminology of first, second, third conditionals appears to be taught only to ESL students), with, again, the "obligation" meaning of should. But in that reading you were going is not a past continuous: it is the past of the "intended future" form you are going.

1
  • 1
    If you had gone to the football game yesterday, you would have invited me to go with you, wouldn't you have?
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 0:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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