1. M56 Guest

## similar conditionals

What would you say is the meaning in the first sentence below and in what way is it different, in meaning and not grammar, to the second example?

"If we arrived tomorrow, that would be wonderful."

"If we arrive tomorrow, that would be wonderful."

Thanks.

2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,141

## Re: similar conditionals

Probability of arrival?

3. Moderator
Join Date
Feb 2005
Posts
2,585

## Re: similar conditionals

Hello M56

1. "If we arrived tomorrow, that would be wonderful."

This structure usually relates to an imaginary, timeless situation: 'If that were true, I would do this.' However, in this instance, the use of 'tomorrow' makes the sentence more concrete.

It might be used when you were planning the journey, for instance.

2. "If we arrive tomorrow, that would be wonderful."

This structure relates to a journey that is a reality. The present tense in the 'if' clause shows that the sentence relates to a real event; the 'would' in the main clause shows that some doubt is attached to the outcome.

It might be used when you were at the airport. Your flight has been delayed; your journey is still 'real'; but some details are uncertain.

MrP

4. M56 Guest

## Re: similar conditionals

Originally Posted by tdol
Probability of arrival?
Yes, that and the reality of living in Spain for so long.

Ticket Officer Miguel:You will arrive at 6:00 tomorrow.

M56: And I'm supposed to believe you?

5. M56 Guest

## Re: similar conditionals

Originally Posted by MrPedantic
Hello M56

1. "If we arrived tomorrow, that would be wonderful."

This structure usually relates to an imaginary, timeless situation: 'If that were true, I would do this.' However, in this instance, the use of 'tomorrow' makes the sentence more concrete.

It might be used when you were planning the journey, for instance.

2. "If we arrive tomorrow, that would be wonderful."

This structure relates to a journey that is a reality. The present tense in the 'if' clause shows that the sentence relates to a real event; the 'would' in the main clause shows that some doubt is attached to the outcome.

It might be used when you were at the airport. Your flight has been delayed; your journey is still 'real'; but some details are uncertain.

MrP
That is a very clear and interesting analysis, Mr P. Would you mind if I copied it to another language forum?

Would staff here mind?

6. Moderator
Join Date
Feb 2005
Posts
2,585

## Re: similar conditionals

You're welcome, M56!

I'd be honoured if you used my post elsewhere.

MrP

7. M56 Guest

## Re: similar conditionals

Originally Posted by MrPedantic
You're welcome, M56!

I'd be honoured if you used my post elsewhere.

MrP
Many thanks. I posted it on About.com forums. I'll keep you informed as to the reaction/s.

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1