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Here are three sentences with "even if". But what time does the action happen?

Even if he go to the U.S.A, his wife is still in England now.(This means the man will go to the U.S.A, right?)

Even if he went to the U.S.A, his wife is still in England now.(This means the man has already gone to the U.S.A.,right?)

On July,1st,1994 , even if he went to the U.S.A, his wife still stayed in England.(here plus "1994" to refer the old time, it means at that time the man would go to the U.S.A, but his wife was still in England,right?)

Thanks so much!

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    The first sample sentence is not grammatically correct; "go" is missing a tense for time.
    – Harris
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:53
  • sorry, I have changed the word to "even though" Thanks
    – moyeea
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:54
  • "Even though" does not affect or modify when he goes, it simply states that something else happens despite it. It is still missing a tense for time.
    – Harris
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 16:55
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    "Go" is an infinitive verb, but in your top example it need to simple past (went), or it could be future tense (will go) I believe you want to say in that example. "Even though he will go..." Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 17:05
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    On your last example you want the past participle (gone) but you would have to add the word 'had' " in 1994, Even though he had gone..." Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 17:06

2 Answers 2

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Even if he goes to the U.S.A, his wife is still in England now

There's a conditional happening here, but the second half of it is not expressed.

The speaker or writer is expecting you to figure out the main counterpart to "if he goes to the U.S.A." from the information "his wife is still in England now."

Even if he goes to the U.S.A, his wife is still in England now, so X isn't going to go to the U.S.A. (Example of something that could be meant.)

You would have to conclude he is not in the U.S.A. yet if we are talking about the possibility of him going to the U.S.A.


Even if he went to the U.S.A, his wife is still in England now

There is a "past conditional" happening here - "if X happened, then Y had {not} happened."

But the speaker/writer is still expecting you to figure out the main counterpart to "if he went to the U.S.A." just like the present-tense version above.

Even if he went to the U.S.A, his wife is still in England now, so I think that means he would not had actually gone to the U.S.A. (Example of something that could be meant.)

In this case though, he may have gone to the U.S.A. but the speaker/writer doesn't know that and believes it not to be the case.


We don't know the time he went to the U.S.A., or supposedly went to the U.S.A., unless that is stated.

Note that even is an intensifier and doesn't change the basic meaning of if or the conditional.

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  • Thanks so much for your really kind help! In the last sentence, I mean, now is 2016, and in 1994, from that time point. can I say: Even if he went to the U.S.A, his wife was still in England. You can say the first sentence from the present time point. But can I talk about one thing happened in the past? At that time, he was going to the U.S.A, but his wife was still here.
    – moyeea
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 18:59
  • And I'm sorry. I mean, his wife should stay with her husband. just change "in England" to " at home" And the first one means "she should be at the airport now!" The second one means "why his wife didn't go???" The third one is like changing the first one to the past. All of them make sense and correct?
    – moyeea
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 19:05
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The first sentence is not grammatically correct, as "go" has no tense for time.

For both the second and third sentences, by the time the sentence is said, the man had already left (past tense). It does not tell us if he returned in either case.

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