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  1. #1
    kl004535 is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Types of Conditional sentence

    Dear Teachers,

    In most English textbooks, there are 3 types of conditional sentences.

    Type 1: (open condition)

    If it rains tonight, I will not attend my english class.

    Type 2: (improbable or imaginary condition)

    If you studied hard, you would get a first-class degree.

    Type 3: (unfulfilled condition)

    If you had studied hard, you would have got a first-class degree.

    What about the conditional sentence below, is it correct ?
    What type does it belong to?

    If you studied hard, I am sure you will pass the exam.

    Your guidance is highly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Last edited by kl004535; 20-Jan-2010 at 16:20.

  2. #2
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Re: Types of Conditional sentence

    If you studied hard, I am sure you will pass the exam.

    The open condition leaves unresolved the question of the fulfilment or nonfulfilment of the condition (your studying hard), and hence also the truth of the proposition expressed by the matrix clause.

    Wait a minute! I am not convinced that it is an open condition. Your sentence means the speaker of I knows the referent of 'you' studied hard but he creates a fiction for the sake of rhetoric where the fulfilment of the proposition is dependent on the truth value of the subordinate clause. Is it a false conditional?
    Last edited by Kondorosi; 20-Jan-2010 at 16:22.

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: Types of Conditional sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    If you studied hard, I am sure you will pass the exam.

    The open condition leaves unresolved the question of the fulfilment or nonfulfilment of the condition (your studying hard), and hence also the truth of the proposition expressed by the matrix clause.

    Wait a minute! I am not convinced that it is an open condition. Your sentence means the speaker of I knows the referent of 'you' studied hard but he creates a fiction for the sake of rhetoric where the fulfilment of the proposition is dependent on the truth value of the subordinate clause. Is it a false conditional?
    It's not a conditional, it would need to be, "If you study hard, I'm sure you will pass" to be a first conditional.

  4. #4
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Re: Types of Conditional sentence

    HEllo Bhai,

    It is called a rhetorical conditional. The if clauses take the form of a condition, but combined with the main clause, they actually make a strong unconditional assertion.

    If you studied hard, I am sure you will pass the exam.


    The whole sentence functions as a statement, meaning: With so much study, You must have passed the test.

  5. #5
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: Types of Conditional sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by kl004535 View Post
    Type 2: (improbable or imaginary condition)

    If you studied hard, you would get a first-class degree.
    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.

    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.

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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