Re: Types of Conditional sentence
Although ESL teaching materials sometimes present the 2nd conditional as expressing an "improbable" or "imaginary" condition, it is often used in real or probable situations to express politeness, tentativeness, etc.
Originally Posted by kl004535
For instance, if you ask me for directions, I might say:
1. If you took the second turning on the left, you would get there a lot quicker.
2. If you called him back now, you'd probably find he's still in the office.
In both cases, I would expect you to take my advice.
In the case of your "unplaced" example, I would agree with Bhaisahab and Kondorosi. Compare it with a genuine 2nd conditional (#4):
3. If you studied hard, [I am sure that] you will pass the exam.
4. If you studied hard, you would pass the exam.
The first point is that "I am sure that" is parenthetical: it qualifies the main clause, which is "you will pass the exam".
The second point is that "If you studied" in #3 does not use the past tense to represent a hypothetical condition, as #4 does: it refers to real studying in the real past. Here is a possible context:
5. "I studied hard all last week, but I'm still not sure whether I'll pass the exam." "If you studied hard all last week, then of course you'll pass the exam!"
Whereas #4 might occur in this kind of context:
6. "I don't know if it's worth studying. I won't pass the exam anyway." "It's only English. I know you don't like it; but if you studied a bit harder, you'd pass it easily."
As for the question of how to classify the #3 and #5 kind of if-statement: some people would call it a variant on Type 1; others would say that it does not fall within the scope of the standard classification, because the content of the if-clause is assumed to be true.
Here are some other examples:
7. If he hasn't come back yet, we had better go and look for him.
8. If that was Sherlock Holmes on the bus, the man in the taxi was Professor Moriarty.
9. If he doesn't smoke, he didn't murder the colonel.
10. If he took the underground, he won't need his car.
Not a professional ESL teacher.