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  1. #1
    Danman is offline Newbie
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    Default 3rd conditional?

    I wrote:
    "Imagine you would have to go to another country and learn German."

    Now my english teacher corrected it to "you had to"

    But, I'm talking about the future not the past.


    Secondly,
    is it: I read some books at the weekend.

    or
    I read some books this weekend.

    Or is it just a personal preference? British english confuses the heck out of me. :P

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danman View Post
    I wrote:
    "Imagine you would have to go to another country and learn German."

    Now my e English teacher corrected it to "you had to"

    But, I'm talking about the future not the past.

    We are using the so-called past tense here to indicate remoteness from reality
    .

    The reality is 'You have to go', and this is not the case in an imagined situation.


    Secondly,
    is it: I read some books at the weekend.

    or
    I read some books this weekend.

    Or is it just a personal preference?YES
    5

  3. #3
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danman View Post
    I wrote:
    "Imagine you would have to go to another country and learn German."

    Now my english teacher corrected it to "you had to"

    But, I'm talking about the future not the past.
    Past tense refers to future time. Your teacher is correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by Danman View Post
    Secondly,
    is it: I read some books at the weekend.

    or
    I read some books this weekend.

    Or is it just a personal preference? British english confuses the heck out of me. :P
    They mean the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danman View Post
    British english confuses the heck out of me. :P
    You do not say that!

  4. #4
    Danman is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Evidently a lot of Americans get that wrong, haha.

    I've never been corrected on that (and that after 2 years of college).

    edit: Say what? ... "I'm moving house" is confusing! :P

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Past tense refers to future time. Your teacher is correct.
    The teacher is indeed correct, but the statement, "Past tense refers to future time," could be a little confusing.

    The past tense can distance a situation in:

    vividness/time:
    A nurse walks into a room and...
    A nurse walked into a room and ...

    directness:
    I wonder if you have a moment?
    I wondered if you had a moment?

    reality/factuality
    The children are here.
    I wish the children were here.

  6. #6
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danman View Post
    edit: Say what? ... "I'm moving house" is confusing! :P
    Definition of You don't say! from Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus

    Not confusing!

    I am moving a house. -- superman
    I am moving house. -- shift location

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Danman: British english confuses the heck out of me.

    You do not say that!
    Why not? It confuses the heck out of me sometimes and I've been speaking it for over sixty years and teaching it for over forty.

    I accept that 'confuse the heck out of' is a rather informal way of expressing the thought.

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    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    The teacher is indeed correct, but the statement, "Past tense refers to future time," could be a little confusing.

    The past tense can distance a situation in:

    vividness/time:
    A nurse walks into a room and...
    A nurse walked into a room and ...

    directness:
    I wonder if you have a moment?
    I wondered if you had a moment?

    reality/factuality
    The children are here.
    I wish the children were here.
    Thanks for the lesson.
    I thought I was in your bad books. Where am I?

  9. #9
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Why not?
    Does it matter?

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Thanks for the lesson.
    I thought I was in your bad books. Where am I?
    Along with any other poster when you give helpful answers to questions.

    Incidentally, Danman, I should have added to my last post that I was not saying that Corum was wrong. The so-called past tense can refer to the future, and frequently does in so-called 2nd conditional sentences such as:

    It would be a miracle if he finished by next week.

    I simply felt that the words "Past tense refers to future time," might be interpreted, incorrectly, by some readers as a general rule.

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