I have a question regarding the following sentences:

which one is more native one.

  1. I wouldn't be trying to learn English, if I haven't met someone who inspired me.
  2. I wouldn't be trying to learn English, if I didn't meet someone who inspired me.

Are both sentences ok or is there a third one you can give to me which sounds more natural?

  • 7
    "...hadn't met..." - and I would drop the comma.
    – nnnnnn
    Apr 9, 2020 at 8:40
  • Definitely drop the comma.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 10, 2020 at 19:06
  • @ Hot Licks Thanks , I got it regarding the comma but you haven't told which sentence is more natural.
    – Mohamed kz
    Apr 10, 2020 at 19:20
  • Just a thought: Can this sentence really be uttered by a native English speaker? ;-)
    – Jim
    Jan 5, 2021 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


The first one, since you're talking about an event (meeting) that was completed before another event (Learning English). The past perfect tense captures the chronology better and is precisely meant for such cases, especially when you're going backwards in time in terms of the order of events in the sentence.

But replace haven't with hadn't, and there's no need for the comma

  • Thnx for the explanation but I used the present perfect to indicate that the inspiration was and is still the reason behind learning.
    – Mohamed kz
    Apr 10, 2020 at 19:50
  • 1
    In this instance the tense of "have/had" is tied to the verb "meeting" which is firmly in the past. The sentence should be "I wouldn't be trying to learn English if I hadn't met someone who has inspired me"
    – Arunkgp
    Apr 10, 2020 at 19:59

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