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a. Now would be a good time to play the guitar if my hand wasn't broken yesterday.

b. Now would have been a good time to play the guitar if my hand wasn't broken yesterday.

c. Now would have been a good time to play the guitar if my hand hadn't been broken yesterday.

d. Now would be a good time to play the guitar if my hand hadn't been broken yesterday.

Which of the sentences (a), (b), (c) and (d) is grammatically correct?

My hand was broken yesterday. If that hadn't happened now would be a good time to play the guitar. But I can't play the guitar now, and now is not a good time to play the guitar.

The event in the 'if-clause' is in the past, but the event in the main clause is in the present.

I changed the examples to clarify what I was after. I think we have a mixed conditional here.

Many thanks.

  • What do you think are the differences between them? Please tell us that. What do each of them really mean? – AIQ May 9 at 7:20
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They are all grammatically correct, and all convey the same general meaning.

It seems that you are looking for a counterfactual situation, and this can be expressed with the perfect conditional: "would have".

We generally backshift the condition to past perfect in this case.

Break is verb that can is "ergative" so we can say "my hand broke", or "I broke my hand". We can also use the past participle in passive/adjective "My hand is broken" (In the past this creates an ambiguity, "my hand was broken" has a rather different meaning if understood as an adjective).

It is probably best to use active verbs when possible:

Now would have been a good time to learn the guitar, if I hadn't broken my hand yesterday! (that sentence deserves an exclamation mark.)

This avoids the adjective/passive problem.

But remember my first sentence: all are correct and convey roughly the same meaning, in context.

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