Not using Past Perfect in constructing past unreal conditionals

If I didn’t go to the show business, I was going to become a fireman. (Curb Your Enthusiasm)

It is real life English, seems very incorrect to me, because the guy actually went to show business, so it is the unreal conditional. For me it should be “If I had not gone to the show business, I would have been going to become a fireman.”

Answer

Well, sort of. This is correct:

One day in high school I remember thinking that if I didn’t go into show business I was going to become a fireman.

This is putting this sentence into the past:

I think that if I don’t go into show business I’m going to become a fireman.

So, to make it correct there is a lot of implied context, meaning that it’s informal but not incorrect.

Your sentence is awkward. I don’t remember seeing “I would have been going to…” before more than maybe a couple of times in my life. I would say “If I hadn’t gone into show business I would have become a fireman.”

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Graduate , Answer Author : BobRodes

Leave a Comment