6

I'm struggling to understand how I can change the tense of conditional sentences.

For example, if I want to say "If I were him, I wouldn't say such things" I presume I would say "もし私が彼だったらあんなことは言わない". But if I want to say "If I were him, I wouldn't have said such things" should I say "もし私が彼だったらあんなことは言わなかった" ?

  • 5
    You probably want 「私だったら」 or 「私なら」 instead of the wordy 「もし私が彼だったら」 – oals Dec 27 '16 at 15:39
6

「あんなことは言{い}わなかった」 would be quite acceptable in non-formal speech. It would easily be understood to mean "I would not have said ~~" by native speakers if used in the right context.

You should, however, be at least aware that grammatically speaking, 「言わなかった」 is only in the simple past tense.

More formally and/or academically, you can say:

「言わなかったであろう」 and its shorter version is:

「言わなかっただろう

It is also very natural and common to say:

「言わなかったと思{おも}う/思います」

-1

Based on my understanding (JLPT N2), your suggested sentence "もし私が彼だったらあんなことは言わなかった" is correct.

Although in this case, I would agree with the comment on your OP above (which seems to no longer be there, maybe it was deleted) to use なら instead, unless there's a particular reason you want to use たら.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.