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English as a Second Language/English grammar:Hypothetical Situation


Hello Amy,

Could you please help me with English grammar?

Hypothetical Situation
Mixing Time Frames

FUTURE HYPOTHETICAL: If we were going to go to the movies,
RESULT CLAUSE: 1) we would be walking now. (present)
         2) we would have walked already. (past)

Is anything wrong with the second one? How do you like the verb "walked"? Does it goes here?  I know that "we would have left already" is better, but I would like to know about the verb "walked", could you explain that to me, please?

I thank you!

Hi Alex,

To express a present or future hypothetical or contrary-to-fact situation you have the following options:

1. simple past + would,could,might+base form or + be + base form +ing

2. past progressive,+would,could,might+base form or be+base form+ing

3. Could,would+base form,+would,could,might+base form


1. If I were you, I would spend more time reading.
If I were you, I would be spending more time reading.

2. If he weren't paid over-time, he could not afford the new car.
If he weren't paid over-time, he could not be affording the new car.

3. If he could finish his homework, he would go to the movies.

Now to your question:

I'd use: If we were going to (go to) the movies, we would be leaving by now.

What's 'wrong' with the verb 'to walk'? Walking refers to the physical act of travelling by foot. Leaving on the other hand refers to the act of going away, therefore it is more appropriate here.

Please let me know if you require further help with this topic or others.

Best regards,

Amy Baker

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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