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Person A: What is the meaning of "bump into someone"?

  1. Person B: If I met your brother somewhere unexpectedly, I would say, "I bumped into him yesterday."

Here I'm only interested in sentence (1).

Is this a valid second conditional where the sentence in quotes uses "real" past tense (bumped into), with yesterday referring to the time of meeting? (Both "met" and "would" are unreal)

Or

Does the condition clause of (1) assume a real past situation where the speaker met your brother, and the result clause talks about a present or future unreal time? ("met" and the sentence in quotes are real, but "would" is unreal)

Something like: Assuming yesterday I met your brother somewhere unexpectedly, I would say, "I bumped into him (yesterday)."

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    If I had met your brother somewhere unexpectedly - where Past Perfect coupled with if describes an "unreal, counterfactual" situation in the past (speaker definitely didn't meet addressee's brother yesterday). It's entirely a stylistic choice whether to extend the Perfect form to I would have said... In practice, nobody really cares about whether speaker's talking about what he would say right now, as opposed to what he would have said at some point in the "hypothetical" past, (before now, but after the hypothetical meeting). Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 13:54
  • OK, you're talking about it from a "hypothetical past" point of view. What if we talk about the same thing from a "hypothetical future" point of view, as in sentence (1) in the OP, using a pure second conditional? Wouldn't it be correct?
    – Mr. X
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 15:49
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    I have precisely zero interest in "numbered conditionals" - for any learner capable of interacting in English on a site like this, they're such a limited subset of real-world possibilities that all they do is confuse people. But to talk about the same thing from a "hypothetical future" point of view wouldn't be your cited example #1 in the OP. The closest I can get to a "hypothetical future" would be If I were to meet (future) or were to have met (past in the future) - but to be honest, concepts like Past and Future aren't very useful when the context is Unreal. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 16:04
  • Thank you very much! Since you say you have no interest in "numbered conditionals", would you accept this mixed (real + unreal) conditional in the context of the OP: If (or assuming) yesterday I met (real) your brother somewhere unexpectedly, I would (unreal) (now) say, "I bumped into him (yesterday)."
    – Mr. X
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 17:08

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