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It will be foolish of him if he does not seize the opportunity.

My Approach:

It would have been foolish of him, if he hadn't seize the opportunity.

or

It would have been foolish of him, if he not had seize the opportunity.

I am confused in using these Sentence

Which to use and why?

I want to make a sentence using an impossible conditional clause type - the main clause should be in present perfect continuous and subordinate clause should be in past perfect.

1

First off, we have to rewrite your 'base' present-tense sentence:

It will be foolish of him if he does not seize the opportunity.

This sentence is only marginally idiomatic as it stands, and it will not bear casting into what you call "impossible" modality. It's not really a conditional at all: the "it" which is to be "foolish of him" is neither a logical nor a practical consequence of his failure to seize the opportunity, it is the failure itself. We would ordinarily express this with an infinitival rather than a conditional:

It will be foolish of him not to seize the opportunity.

Moreover, the verb in the main (consequence) clause is a stative, so it cannot ordinarily be cast into the continuous construction.

So let's start by writing a true present-tense conditional with a continuous construction in the consequence clause:

If he thinks we will help he is deceiving himself.

This may be cast into present-tense "impossible" modality like this:

If he thought we would help, he would be deceiving himself.

And that may be cast into the past tense like this:

If he had thought we would help, he would have been deceiving himself.

That's probably what you have in mind when you speak of a main clause in "present perfect continuous" and a condition clause in "past perfect". However, those are not accurate descriptions of the constructions in these sentences. The apparent perfects are actually past-tense markers. He had thought looks like a past perfect, but it is actually an irrealis ("impossible") past; and he would have been deceiving looks like a modal present perfect, but it's actual a modal past.

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Neither of your approaches are correct. You tried to make the sentences in the past tense, which is not correct or possible. I think what you mean is:

"He'd be foolish not to seize the/that opportunity"

  • NO i want to make a sentence using an impossible conditional clause type so i think the statement is right. – Jalaj Chawla Aug 28 '15 at 7:15
  • What about "It was foolish of him not to seize the opportunity."? Does that help? – Riley Francisco Aug 28 '15 at 7:18
  • main clause should be in present perfect continuous and subordinate clause should be in past perfect – Jalaj Chawla Aug 28 '15 at 7:22
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    @JalajChawla - Those clarifications really, REALLY should have been in your original question. I've added them now. In the future, please take more care to clarify exactly what you are trying to ask; otherwise, you will probably get a lot of answers that aren't very helpful to you, and you will be wasting the community's valuable time. – J.R. Aug 28 '15 at 8:51

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