Sometimes I find it difficult to set my tenses correctly without sounding awkward. It is caused mostly by the fact that I tend to either not understand the rules for switching tenses or repeat modal verbs many times throughout the sentence.
Here's two sentences I've read just today. Both of them utilize the present tense despite the fact that they clearly relate to either unreal or past events.
- Imagine how people would react when they see how many mistakes you've made.
Why shouldn't I use "would see" in this one, instead of switching to the present tense all of the sudden?
- When I was a kid I remember my dad taking us to get lunch, then go play disc golf, soccer, or do something else free and fun.
Why is there a sudden switch in tenses? Doesn't it violate the tense consistency? This doesn't look like Historical Present to me.
But I also encountered a problem of my own, this time relating to the constant repetition of modals. I was playing a pretty old game with my mate, and I wanted to prove him I knew exactly what one of the characters would do.
- That guy will for some reason kick the ball in a second, and then the other guy will come and pick it up.
After all I felt like there were to many "wills" on the dance floor, but I have no idea how I could change it.
Similar situation happened when my SO told me our mutual friend was going to apply for a pretty difficult job. Over the course of our conversation I came up saying:
- I don't know if I would handle such a task, even if they would charge me with it.
Although I suppose this is the one instance where I know what I've done wrong: I should have used the second conditional instead of repeating "would" twice. I've mentioned it just to make sure.
The same problem with repeating verbs appears when I want to formulate sentences like:
- I will talk to him, but I will not try to convince him.
Is it possible to drop the second "will", or basically any other modal verb, in such cases?
- I will talk to him, but not try to convince him.
It's a pretty long question, but I hope you'd still be willing to help me and able to do so.