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  1. #1
    Waawe is offline Member
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    Default hypothetical mustn't

    Hello, could you show me how to switch the following real conditional sentence into the hypothetical conditional? I am not sure how to make „mustn’t” a hypothetical conditional.

    For example:

    Real conditional:

    If you want to be successful in what you are doing, you mustn’t be lazy.


    Hypothetical conditional:

    If you wanted to be successful in ...

    Can you finish the rest of the sentence for me?

    Cheers.

    Waawe

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: hypothetical mustn't

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    Hello, could you show me how to switch the following real conditional sentence into the hypothetical conditional? I am not sure how to make „mustn’t” a hypothetical conditional.

    For example:

    Real conditional:

    If you want to be successful in what you are doing, you mustn’t be lazy.


    Hypothetical conditional:

    If you wanted to be successful in ...

    Can you finish the rest of the sentence for me?

    Cheers.

    Waawe
    Change "mustn't" to "shouldn't".

  3. #3
    Waawe is offline Member
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    Default Re: hypothetical mustn't

    Can we thus say:

    If you wanted to be successful in what you are doing, you shouldn't be lazy.

    #1 Can we use couldn't instead, maintaining the same meaning?

    #2 Would the hypothetical conditional be:

    [I]If you had wanted to be successful in what you were doing, you shouldn't have been lazy.


    Thank you for dissipating the rest of my doubts.

    Cheers.

    Waawe

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: hypothetical mustn't

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    Can we thus say:

    If you wanted to be successful in what you are doing, you shouldn't be lazy. "...shouldn't have been."

    #1 Can we use couldn't instead, maintaining the same meaning? No.

    #2 Would the hypothetical conditional be:

    [I]If you had wanted to be successful in what you were doing, you shouldn't have been lazy. The "had" is not necessary, but it's not incorrect.


    Thank you for dissipating the rest of my doubts.

    Cheers.

    Waawe
    .

  5. #5
    Waawe is offline Member
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    Default Re: hypothetical mustn't

    Am I right to understand that if I speak about the present/future I say:

    "If you wanted to be successful in what you are doing (in the future), you shouldn't be/mustn't be lazy."

    and if I speak about the past I am to say:

    "If you had wanted to be successful in what you were doing (in the past), you shouldn't have been lazy. "

    I hope I get it right this way, otherwise, I am really hopeless...

  6. #6
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: hypothetical mustn't

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    Am I right to understand that if I speak about the present/future I say:

    "If you wanted to be successful in what you are doing (in the future), you shouldn't be/mustn't be lazy."

    Change "wanted" to "want." You are speaking about the future, so you wouldn't use the past tense.

    and if I speak about the past I am to say:

    "If you had wanted to be successful in what you were doing (in the past), you shouldn't have been lazy. "
    This is fine, although--as Mr. Bhaisahab points out--the "had" is optional. I do feel it changes the meaning a little, in that it emphasizes the fact that it all happened in the past. I think it might be changing the meaning in another way, as well, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

    I hope I get it right this way, otherwise, I am really hopeless...
    Please don't be hopeless! These are very challenging sentences. And English is really not such a difficult language. Joseph Conrad was one of the masters of the language, and he only spoke Polish until age 18.

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