Genderson: I told you not to take the turnpike.

KRAMER: I thought we would blend in.

Genderson: If we took the Palisades, this never would've happened.

KRAMER: Then we would've had all that bridge traffic.

Genderson: Ah, just drive.

I don't like took in the conditional sentence. Instead of took it should be had taken. What is it: a different grammar structure or just a colloquialism?

  • It's just colloquial sloppiness. Mar 2, 2014 at 0:53
  • 1
    Colloquialism. The dialogue in Seinfeld is one big exercise in how to talk like a New Yorker.
    – relaxing
    Mar 2, 2014 at 2:45
  • 1
    It doesn't feel sloppy to me.
    – user230
    Mar 2, 2014 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


It's as StoneyB and relaxing said in their comments. Michael Swan's Practical English Usage also mentions this "past simple instead of a past perfect". Here is the relevant section.

262 if (7): other structures found in spoken English

4 mixed tenses
Sometimes a simple past tense is used with if where a past perfect would be normal. This is more common in American English.
    If I knew you were coming I'd have baked a cake.
    If I had the money with me I would have bought you one.
    If I didn't have my walking boots on I think I would have really hurt my foot.

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