Introduction - a friend asked me on chat if [a large, well known website] is down. I replied after 10 minutes that it was working for me. He replied that it was down during that time. Then I stated that we can check tomorrow news.

My first instinctive sentence was:

If it's in the news, it means it was down

After thinking about it I am not sure if it is fully correct. Most mixed conditionals I found on the internet concerned unreal ones.

I guess that proper way might be with future perfect:

If it's in the news, it means it will have been down

But it does not 'sound right' and I have a 'feeling' the original one is correct (then again - I'm not a native speaker) as the ending is too close to 3rd conditional. How to express it properly?

  • Maceiej, problems here is that ELL is practically down on Sunday because a lack of on-line users. I, as an expert of prepostions, cannot help you, but to me your 'instictive sentence' is right if you have alredy read the news.
    – user2903
    Oct 13, 2013 at 16:03
  • If it's in the new, it'll mean it was down.
    – Jim
    Oct 13, 2013 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


I am a native speaker and and ESL teacher. Your instinctive answer, "If it's in the news, it means it was down," is absolutely correct. It's in the zero-conditional. Your instincts were right about the alternate answer, "If it's in the news, it means it will have been down," were spot on too. It isn't right.


I'm not a native either, but to me the first one sounds correct. The second suggests the website will be down sometime in the future. The first suggests that the website was down and it's not anymore and thus there's no effect in the present.

There's also this article at English Page regarding the Future Perfect Continuous Tense.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .