I have read most of the If clause conditions , yet I couldn’t find a correct way of saying this

I was with my girlfriend in the cafe, while we were drinking the coffee my phone rang, I took the coffee and went to the car, once we arrived to car I asked her to drink the coffee or throw it away because I didn’t want it anymore. she said

”If you are not going to drink it then why did you bring it?”

Is what she said correct?! Did she use the correct if clause conditional ?! If not, How should she suppose to say ?

  • I would change the tense of the conditional clause because I sense that she is implying that, when you left the coffee shop, you had already made up your mind about not drinking it. "If you were not going to drink your coffee, then why did you bring it?" or "Why did you bring your coffee if you were not going to drink it?" First case needs a comma while the second one doesn't. – urnonav Jan 3 '18 at 22:09

It is correct and idiomatic.

She assumes that you hadn't changed your mind between leaving the cafe and reaching the car. Or perhaps that you should have been able to make a decision about the coffee earlier, before leaving the cafe.

You could reply that had intended to drink it when your phone rang, but you have now changed your mind.


Your girlfriend might well have asked you:

If you were not going to drink it, why did you bring it?

and in that case she would be questioning the quality of your decision-making in the cafe: if, at the time, you had no intention of drinking it, why did you bring it?

But she asks the question in the present tense:

If you are not going to drink it, why did you bring it?

which can be paraphrased

If you have no intention now of drinking it, then why did you bring it?

She obviously believes you are capable of seeing into the future! A girlfriend with that much faith in their boyfriend's mental powers can be both a blessing and a curse. It is better to let her know early that you are only human. You could explain to her:

When I left the cafe, I intended to drink it. But I received a phone call, during which time the coffee became tepid, and so I no longer wished to drink it. So I offered the tepid coffee to you.

That you offered her tepid coffee might explain her choice of tense. She is truly "in the moment" at that point.

  • @FaDhlBinAl-mutawakel Please don't post comments in answers. I moved part of the text you posted in an answer to where it belongs, and edited it a little bit to make it clearer. If you don't like the way I've changed it, you may want to delete the comment and post a new comment. – ColleenV Jan 4 '18 at 17:39
  • Yes, it was just a joke. What I was trying to point out was the fact that her words to you, in which she is very much in the present and apparently piqued (If you are not going to drink it, then why did you bring it?) were in response to what you had asked of her: "I asked her to drink the [tepid] coffee or throw it away because I didn’t want it anymore." Her pique could well explain the choice of present tense there, and the (merely superficial) illogicality of her question. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 4 '18 at 18:25

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