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Thread: Conditional

  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Conditional

    Dear teachers,

    As usual, I'll ask many questions in one post but you can, of course, answer them at your convenience.

    1) Would you please help me finish these clauses ?

    a) If you were to give him a chance…
    b) If you were to fail …

    c) Would it be possible to use the indicative “If you ARE …” in the above clauses ? What difference would it make?

    2) How can I make a polite request using “If + will or would”?

    If you will / would ….


    3) What do you call the mood/tense (?) that follows “would” in the following sentences ?

    a) If the Queen died, she would BE SUCCEEDED by her son Charles. (Bare infinitive + past participle ?)

    b) If I were rich I would BE LYING in the sun on a tropical island. (Bare infinitive + present participle ??)

    c) If it had rained yesterday, there wouldn’t HAVE BEEN many people on the sea shore. (perfect infinitive)

    d) If I had not got married, I would still HAVE BEEN LIVING abroad. (perfect infinitive + present participle ??)


    4) If our documents had been in order we could have left at once. (“could” here expresses ability or permission or both ?)

    5) Why do we use the subjunctive in one sentence and the indicative in the other ?

    a) If I WERE riding a bicycle I would be much happier.
    (difference with “If I WAS riding a bicycle…”?)

    b) If my car WAS working I could / would drive you to the station. (difference with “my car WERE working…”?)


    6) Do sentences a) + b) have the same meaning ?

    a) If he had been able to see it clearly, he would remember it better. (now)

    b) If he could see it clearly, he would remember it better.

    c) If he had been able to see it clearly, he would have remembered it better. (then)

    I don’t like these examples because their meaning is not clear, would you have better examples of this kind ?


    7) a) Are the future and the conditional incompatible with the following expressions ?

    unless, except if, provided/providing that, on condition that, as/so long as, suppose/supposing that, what if, in case, if only.

    b) would you please give me examples with “except if”?

    c) Is it true that “unless” cannot be used in Type 2 conditional and in indirect questions?

    What about: “I would not attempt … (what can I say here ?) unless I were sure of succeeding.” ?

    Thank you for your patience and understanding!
    Best regards,
    Hela

  2. #2
    Dany's Avatar
    Dany is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Conditional

    Hello Hela,

    I will start.


    Quote Originally Posted by hela

    1) Would you please help me finish these clauses ?

    a) If you were to give him a chance…
    b) If you were to fail …

    c) Would it be possible to use the indicative “If you ARE …” in the above clauses ? What difference would it make?
    I wouldn't say, that your sentences are grammatical correct. Try it like this:
    a.) If you gave him a chance to explain it to you, you would understand him better.
    b.) If you failed the exam, you would have to resit it.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela

    2) How can I make a polite request using “If + will or would”?

    If you will / would ….
    Please note, that it isn't correct, to use will or would in the if-part of the sentence.

    If I learn, I will pass the exam. (Conditional I)
    If I learnt, I would pass the exam. (Conditional II)
    If I had learnt, I would have passed the exam. (Conditional III)

    NOT: If I would/will learn .... or If you would/will learn ....


    Quote Originally Posted by hela

    3) What do you call the mood/tense (?) that follows “would” in the following sentences ?
    I will try to explain it to you, to the best of my knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela

    a) If the Queen died, she would BE SUCCEEDED by her son Charles. (Bare infinitive + past participle ?)
    I think, that this sentence is not correct. You have used the Conditional II.
    Conditional II = If + Simple Past, would + infinitive

    If the Queen died, she would succeed by her son Charles.

    Quote Originally Posted by hela

    b) If I were rich I would BE LYING in the sun on a tropical island. (Bare infinitive + present participle ??)
    You have used the Conditional II.
    Conditional II = If + Simple Past, would + infinitive

    If I were rich, I would lay in the sun on a tropical island

    Quote Originally Posted by hela
    c) If it had rained yesterday, there wouldn’t HAVE BEEN many people on the sea shore. (perfect infinitive)
    This sentence is correct. You have used the Conditional III.
    Conditional III = If + Past Perfect, would + have + Past Participle

    Quote Originally Posted by hela
    d) If I had not got married, I would still HAVE BEEN LIVING abroad. (perfect infinitive + present participle ??)
    I don't think that this sentence is correct. Look at c). It's the same.
    If I had not married, I would still have lived abroad.
    "Had not got married" doesn't work.

    The rest of your questions I couldn't answer. Perhaps another one could. But I hope that my explanations of 1, 2 and 3 could help you at first.

    Kind regards,
    Dany

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Conditional

    1) Would you please help me finish these clauses ?

    a) If you were to give him a chance, people would think you were very generous.
    b) If you were to fail, I'd be shocked.


    c) Would it be possible to use the indicative “If you ARE …” in the above clauses ? What difference would it make?
    If you were to = very unlikely
    If you are to = if you are going to. 'Be to' is a more formal future form.


    2) How can I make a polite request using “If + will or would”?

    If you will / would ….
    I would be grateful if you would send me the brochure at your earliest convenience.

    3) What do you call the mood/tense (?) that follows “would” in the following sentences ?

    a) If the Queen died, she would BE SUCCEEDED by her son Charles. (Bare infinitive + past participle ?)


    b) If I were rich I would BE LYING in the sun on a tropical island. (Bare infinitive + present participle ??)


    c) If it had rained yesterday, there wouldn’t HAVE BEEN many people on the sea shore. (perfect infinitive)


    d) If I had not got married, I would still HAVE BEEN LIVING abroad. (perfect infinitive + present participle ??)


    4) If our documents had been in order we could have left at once. (“could” here expresses ability or permission or both ?)
    Both, but permission is the obvious one.
    5) Why do we use the subjunctive in one sentence and the indicative in the other ?

    a) If I WERE riding a bicycle I would be much happier.
    (difference with “If I WAS riding a bicycle…”?)

    b) If my car WAS working I could / would drive you to the station. (difference with “my car WERE working…”?)
    You could use 'were' in b)

    6) Do sentences a) + b) have the same meaning ?
    No. The first means that he saw it in the past and can't remember it well. The second means he's seeing it now and won't be able to remember it well in the future.
    a) If he had been able to see it clearly, he would remember it better. (now)

    b) If he could see it clearly, he would remember it better.

    c) If he had been able to see it clearly, he would have remembered it better. (then)



    7) a) Are the future and the conditional incompatible with the following expressions ?

    unless, except if, provided/providing that, on condition that, as/so long as, suppose/supposing that, what if, in case, if only.
    Usually

    b) would you please give me examples with “except if”?
    It's like unless

    c) Is it true that “unless” cannot be used in Type 2 conditional and in indirect questions?

    What about: “I would not attempt … (what can I say here ?) unless I were sure of succeeding.” ?
    Your example shows that it is not an absolute rule. However, it is not used much in Conditional 2 senetences.

  4. #4
    Dany's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conditional

    Hello Tdol,

    would you please explain to me, what is wrong of my explanations to no.3?

    Conditional II = If + Simple Past, would + infinitive
    If the Queen died, she would succeed by her son Charles.


    Conditional II = If + Simple Past, would + infinitive
    If I were rich, I would lay in the sun on a tropical island


    Conditional III = If + Past Perfect, would + have + Past Participle
    If I had not married, I would still have lived abroad.



    By the way: I'm really sure that "Had not got married" doesn't work. I think that "got" is never used before a verb. Am I wrong?


    Would you please also explain to me No. 1?

    I think that "if + were + infinitve" sounds very odd and I have never heard it before. What's wrong when I say "if + simple past"? I haven't known that "if + were + infinitive" is also used. Please explain to me, when it is used.

    Hela, I'm very sorry that I gave you wrong information. I hope that I understand it better after Tdol gave me some explanations.

    Best regards,
    Dany

  5. #5
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Conditional

    Don't worry, Dany. We're all here to learn. And our mistakes can only serve us well. I think it's Ferdinand de Saussure (if I'm not mistaken) who said that acquiring a language comes through trails and errors.

    See you,
    Hela

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Conditional

    Conditional II = If + Simple Past, would + infinitive
    If the Queen died, she would succeed by her son Charles.

    She won't be doing anything when she dies- Charles will succeed her.

    Conditional II = If + Simple Past, would + infinitive
    If I were rich, I would lay in the sun on a tropical island

    Nothing wrong with this grammatically, though I'd recommend using 'lie' instead of 'lay'; though some native speakers would use it, many consider it an error.

    Conditional III = If + Past Perfect, would + have + Past Participle
    If I had not married, I would still have lived abroad.

    This is also fine.



    By the way: I'm really sure that "Had not got married" doesn't work. I think that "got" is never used before a verb. Am I wrong?

    We do use GET/GOT + verb.

    Would you please also explain to me No. 1?

    I think that "if + were + infinitve" sounds very odd and I have never heard it before. What's wrong when I say "if + simple past"? I haven't known that "if + were + infinitive" is also used. Please explain to me, when it is used.

    It reduces the possibility, and is mostly found in formal language.

    If I went there (unlikely)
    If I were to go there (very unlikely)

    Hela, I'm very sorry that I gave you wrong information. I hope that I understand it better after Tdol gave me some explanations.

    I wouldn't worry about this- some was right- I was basing my answers on Hela's. Also, how else do you learn?

  7. #7
    Dany's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conditional

    Hello Tdol,

    Thanks a lot for your explanations. Now I see clearer

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Conditional II = If + Simple Past, would + infinitive
    If the Queen died, she would succeed by her son Charles.

    She won't be doing anything when she dies- Charles will succeed her.


    Best regards,
    Dany

  8. #8
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Conditional

    Dear teachers,

    1) Would you please tell me if the following sentences are grammatical? If yes, what do they mean exactly ?

    Type 1 + Type 2: ??

    a) If that is the case, I would make sure my data was backed up.


    b) If that is the case, I would make sure the data is backed up.


    c) If that were the case, I would make sure my data is backed up now.



    2) Which version do you prefer best ?

    a) If I were / was (?) named Paul, I would be a male.

    b) If I wasn't / weren’t (?) afraid of spiders, I would have picked it up.


    3) Is my sentence correct ?

    I would not attempt to jump from an airplane unless I were sure of succeeding in opening my parachute.

    Many thanks,
    Hela
    Last edited by hela; 31-Mar-2005 at 09:12.

  9. #9
    Dany's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conditional

    Hello Hela,

    I will try to help you again


    Quote Originally Posted by hela

    1) Would you please tell me if the following sentences are grammatical? If yes, what do they mean exactly ?

    Type 1 + Type 2: ??

    a) If that is the case, I would make sure my data was backed up.


    b) If that is the case, I would make sure the data is backed up.

    c) If that were the case, I would make sure my data is backed up now.


    I would say, that "c." is grammatikal correct, but I would rather say:
    If that is the case, I will make sure the data is backed up.

    The conditional II (like your sentence "c") is usually used when something is unlikely.
    Example: If I were you, I would have a word with my boss.
    But you are you, and not she/he.
    That's why I rather use the conditional I.

    This sentence mean: If it is true of what you said, I will have to look up whether the data is up to date or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by hela
    2) Which version do you prefer best ?

    a) If I were / was (?) named Paul, I would be a male.

    b) If I wasn't / weren’t (?) afraid of spiders, I would have picked it up.


    2 a.) If I was named Paul, I would be a male.
    2 b.) If I wasn't afraid of spiders, I would pick it up. (This my opinion, but I have learned, that I'm not always right )

    Please note:
    If you use I then it have to be was.
    EXEPTION: If I were you, I would .... (In this clause, were refers to you)

    Quote Originally Posted by hela
    3) Is my sentence correct ?

    I would not attempt to jump from an airplane unless I were sure of succeeding in opening my parachute.
    I would say, that this sentence is correct


    Best regards,
    Dany

  10. #10
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    Question Re: Conditional

    Quote Originally Posted by hela

    I would not attempt to jump from an airplane unless I were sure of succeeding in opening my parachute.
    can i ask something?
    can we use were instead of was? isnt that "were" is refered to I?
    i'm confuse

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