I recommended that we all go together, so no one gets lost.

Here we have 'recommended' which is in past simple and 'go' which, as far as I can understand, is present subjunctive, but 'gets' is in present simple, why? What if we had 'got' instead of 'gets' to match the tense of 'recommended'?

1 Answer 1


The choice of tense suggests that, although the recommendation was made in the past, the activity being planned has not happened yet (or is happening now). With your proposed change, the meaning shifts to suggest that the recommendation and the activity are both in the past, relative to the moment of the statement. And in that case, "... so that no one would get lost" is more idiomatic.

  • Thank you. Alright, so by saying "more idiomatic" you mean that "got lost" and "would get lost" are very similar in meaning here, don't you? And in turn I can imagine "gets lost" and "will get lost" would be quite similar as well, correct?
    – Karolini
    Nov 11, 2019 at 20:51
  • I'm about to accept your answer. I would be pleased, though, if you gave a little bit of explanation regarding the questions in my comment above.
    – Karolini
    Nov 14, 2019 at 22:59
  • 1
    "Would get" instead of "got" is a better fit because it introduces a hypothetical: something that might have happened, rather than something that definitely did happen. The conditional (or conjunctive) tenses are often used in this way to abstract the meaning when something is an idea rather than an actual event.
    – TypeIA
    Nov 17, 2019 at 23:00
  • Oh, I had thought that "so no one got lost" conveys hypothetical meaning as well. It looks that everything is much simpler and I was trying to dig too deep.
    – Karolini
    Nov 18, 2019 at 11:49

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