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  1. #1
    M56 Guest

    Default 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. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: similar conditionals

    Probability of arrival?

  3. #3
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default 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. #4
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: similar conditionals

    Quote 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. #5
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: similar conditionals

    Quote 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. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: similar conditionals

    You're welcome, M56!

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

    MrP

  7. #7
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: similar conditionals

    Quote 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.

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