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When making out sentences in narration of the past time events and implementing the Conditional Mood, shall the time shift principles be observed? For example:

  1. [conveying the idea of unreal condition tallying with the author's time or the future from that point of vew] "Looking at him I knew that he would do the job well if he could have the opportunity of arriving next week". Or should it be the forms of Type3 Conditional in any case because the situation unwinds in the past as to the reader's time (i.e."Looking at him I knew that he would have done the job well if he could have had the opportunity of arriving next week"?
  2. [conveying the idea of unreal condition situation unwinding before the author's time] "Looking at him I knew that he would have done the job well if he could have had the opportunity of arriving a week before".
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    Numbered conditionals are peculiar to ESOL at individual schools and various textbooks. They aren't standard, and most English speakers know nothing about them. They're just quick recipes for if-then statements that mostly work in many situations, and are easy to teach. They don't come close to the whole story. Mar 27 at 21:02
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    @John Lawler I also do not strongly abide by numbering the forms of Conditional Mood. Here I put up the classification by L.G.Alexander. What would be your authoritative oppinion on what form of Conditional should be used as applied to my pattern No.1? And does its use have anithing to do with the priority of actions depicted by the conditional clause over the author's time notwithstanding the whole situation's lying in the sphere of the past.
    – Eugene
    Mar 28 at 11:40
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    I.e. "I knew" stands in time before the abstract possibility of his doing the job well provided he can arrive next week ("that next week" being in the future with reference to the author's time nevertheless lies in the demesne of the past as to the reader's time).
    – Eugene
    Mar 28 at 11:47
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    I am bringing up this question because as it stands in books on the English Grammar we must use the Type3 Conditional always when the situation refers to the past. Cases considering the priority of actions and the author's time wich is seen as present to the whole situation in narration are not touched upon at all.
    – Eugene
    Mar 28 at 12:01
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    @Tinfoil Hat Thank you. So the Subjunctive (past) is to be used in past time contexts irrespective of whether the situation in conditional clause refers to the time before or after the author's time (i.e. "I knew that he would have done the job well if he had had the opportunity to arrive two weeks later/two weeks before")?
    – Eugene
    Mar 28 at 18:14

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