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If I bought that book, it would be so I had something to give to you on your birthday.

Is the above sentence grammatically correct? Or would "have" be a better option than "had"?

I asked the same question before,and got pretty satisfying answers,but it still didn't clear my doubt as to whether it is okay to use the sentence,or not. So,is it? Would it be grammatically correct i kept that entire sentence to the past?

And your help will be greatly appreciated.

  • That sentence could come straight from the mouths of a few million native speakers. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 6 '15 at 12:33
  • Yes, but without "to" after "give". – V.V. Dec 6 '15 at 15:18
  • The sentence sounds rather weird . Why don't you say the following in simple words? : "If I bought that book, it would be for giving you on your birthday or I would have something for giving you on your birthday". – Khan Dec 6 '15 at 17:35
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    @Khan: It may sound weird to you, but I can assure you that it would pass as 100% idiomatic in Pennsylvania. ..for giving you... is not idiomatic. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 7 '15 at 10:46
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Its close. This create a subjunctive mood. Therefore, you must have "to have" in the subjunctive form which is have. The first part of the sentence:

If I bought that book,....

is conditional because of the "If", which is what introduces the subjunctive mood. So, the sentence should read. Common red flags that a subjunctive mood has been introduced are "if..., than" or "if..., would"

If I bought that book, it would be so I have something to give to you on your birthday.

Someone commented that you need to exclude the "to" after the "give" but that isn't necessary.

Something else to note is that in English there is an implied "that" after "so".

If I bought that book, it would be so that I have something to give to you on your birthday.

Also, as mentioned before, if you were to say the original sentence in common conversation, no one would be confused about what you were saying.

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