Last week, I overheard two of my colleagues arguing over one silly question: which one is grammatically correct; “If I told you” or “If I tell you”.
I was struggling to come up with the right answer. I first thought that Phil was right. My English lessons are still fresh as if I just learned it yesterday despite the years I left school. I can still remember how Mrs. Balistoy emphasized that “IF” is equivalent to the word “WISH”. We know for a fact that “WISH” is always paired with a past tense. Hence, If i told you. Yes, logic baby and that’s how I came up with the judgment that Phil won over Roz.
To prove my judgment, I asked a number of people who I think are competent grammar-wise (familiar with English grammar as if they were eating with their bare hands). I was given several answers, different ones. I became confused during my moments of thinking. What if I was taught the wrong principle? What if the rules had changed? My confusion worsened.
Out of desperation, I turned to my friend, Google. But wait, how can I possibly trust the world wide web when a lot of people can convincingly input inaccurate information? Anyhows, I started with the keyword, Parts of Speech. To my surprise, Articles had been added as a part of speech. Since when? WHooahh! This is a nightmare!
I don’t know what happened next but I ended up reviewing modal auxiliaries, thus another puzzle. I find it funny when people are so egotistical when using modals as if they have mastered the language’s technicalities. I remember my previous trainer who just snapped her fingers and recite the tongue twister “How much wood would a wood chuck chuck…” whenever she heard an incorrect use of the modals. I laughed at myself, too. How can I be so vain? Hmmm…
My original question is still out for bidding. Whoever convinces me the best will get a little gift from me. I promise. You must be guessing that I’m already out of my mind — and you’re right!
Nah, spreken ze English, damnit!