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1. Would it be okay if I called you when I got back home?

2. Would it be okay if I called you when I get back home?

Now I believe that both the sentences follow the rule of the second conditional. What I am confused about, is if I should keep the entire sentence to the past even after following the second conditional is over to keep the tenses sense, like I did in the first sentence.


Should I get back to present to tense after the following of the second rule part is over?

Now, if you don't understand the question, just leave a comment, and I'll get back to you. :)

And, which of two sentences would you use?

marked as duplicate by Alejandro, Chenmunka, shin, Glorfindel, M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Dec 14 '15 at 17:28

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The following is the way most people would probably say it:

Would it be okay if I call you when I get home?

You don't need past tense verbs there because would that be okay? (or would it be okay that...?) is a phrase in its own right. We could actually say it in a slightly different way:

I call you when I get home, alright? Would that be okay with you?

In other words: the action of me calling you when I get home—would that be alright with you?

  • Do you mean we don't need "past tense verbs" or we can't use them? I'm not sure because you seem to suggest that we can't use "Would it be okay if I called you when I get/got home?" as they're not "the correct way" in your answer. – Damkerng T. Dec 14 '15 at 14:33
  • The first sentence is technically correct. But I guess whether a particular sentence is correct or not depends on the context you use it in. – Michael Rybkin Dec 14 '15 at 14:43

The second sentence

Would it be ok if I called you when I get home?

Is the correct way to express the sentiment, "I want to call you in the future once I get home. Is that ok?" The first part is asking if something will be fine in the future so the second part should also be talking about the future.

The first sentence sounds fishy but I don't think it's actually ungrammatical. I think the dissonance comes from the semantics rather then the syntax. The reason the first part "Would it be ok if I called you" is asking about something in the future, while the second part "when I got home." is talking about the past. I feel like grammar isn't implicated here really, rather it's meaning.

You could say "Would it have been ok if I had called you, when I got home." In which case both sentences talk about the past.

When I get home I will check some reference books to figure out if there isn't a real grammar issue.

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