"If he had come here yesterday at 5 p.m., he might have seen his sister."

What does this sentence mean and which situation do I imagine with this sentence?

Do I imagine the situation that he came here at 5 p.m. or I imagine that he had already come, already came here at 5 p.m.? The Past perfect is a bit confusing in type 3 conditionals.

  • 1
    Please use capital I instead of small i for the pronoun in the first person singular (the only way which is correct). This time, I corrected them for you. – virolino Sep 10 '19 at 10:33

It is called unfulffiled conditional.

If he had come here yesterday at 5PM, , he might have seen his sister.

Context is more important to explain any sentence.

Suppose His sister was waiting for her brother at the Railway station.The train started exactly at 5 PM.He camea after 5M.So He did not see his sister. . The sentence implies that he came after 5 PM yesterday.

atimplies specific time so it does not mean that he came before 5 PM.

If we use the preposition by it implies that he came before 5 PM.

So I think that the preposition by is preferrable in the context

Here the condition of his coming yesterday at 5Pm was not fulfilled.

so his chances of seeing his sister did not happen.

In other words, the sentence means he did not come yesterday at 5 PM so he did not see his sister.

The past perfect form in the if clause tells that the incident did not happen if it is positive.

Look at the sentence given below:

If he had not helped me, I would have been in trouble

Since the if clause is negative, it means that the incident happened.

So the above sentence means:

He had helped me so I was out of trouble.

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  • Do İ imply grammatically with "İf he had come yesterday at 5PM,he might have seen his sister." his coming at precisely 5PM yesterday, or by 5PM (5PM-Before5PM) ? – Help Me911 Sep 10 '19 at 17:33
  • @HelpMe911.at usually is used for specific time.In the context it implies that he came after 5 pm yesterday. so He could not see his sister. – successive suspension Sep 11 '19 at 4:22

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