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There would be a time where you would constantly ask every person you have encountered how near the summit is.

The sentence is in the form where I constantly observe people in every climbing asking about the distance of the summit.

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  • My first impulse is to change it to had, but my second impulse is to remove the word entirely. I think that makes the sentence make the most sense.
    – eelero
    Jul 27 '16 at 18:23
  • @eelero after removing have, is the word encounter should be in what tense? thank you Jul 27 '16 at 18:37
  • @ArkeiAraullo past tense, just like it already is.
    – eelero
    Jul 27 '16 at 19:05
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I think you may be mixing your tenses.

Your sentence seems to be giving advice to someone who is considering a climb in the future, and as they get closer to the top

There will be a time when you will constantly be asking every person you encounter how close the summit is.

Stylistically, I might change it to

There will come a time when you will ask every person you come across how far it is to the summit.

If you wanted to place your original sentence it in the past, as if the climber used to do this

There was a time when you would constantly ask every person you had encountered how near the summit was.

which might imply they may no longer do this since they are more experienced.

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  • This is a good answer. Just to add to it, "would" implies that the situation is imaginary, uncertain, or unlikely. For example,"I would climb the mountain if I could only get some time off." "Will" is more certain. If you want to maintain the uncertainty, you could say something like "There may come a time when you ask every person you meet how far it is to the summit." It all depends on what you want to say.
    – Andrew
    Sep 26 '16 at 5:26

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