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  1. #11
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Along with any other poster when you give helpful answers to questions
    I am bending over backwards to do my best, but what happens if I am wrong next time? Will you hate me? Is it not the good intentions that count when you devote your time to sorting out other people's problems?

  2. #12
    Danman is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Is it not the good intentions that count when you devote your time to sorting out other people's problems?
    It most certainly is. ;)

    Thanks to you both.

  3. #13
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    We had better stay on-topic or the moderators will, rightly, ask us to to do so.

  4. #14
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    What is all this strange talk about past tense to indicate future? You are dealing with the conditional here, a hyothetical situation introduced by the word 'imagine': what you imagine has not happened,

    "Imagine you would have to go to another country and learn German." There is nothing wrong with this sentence. 'had to' = 'müsstest' 'would' = 'würdest'. That is the difference.
    Stell dir vor, du müsstest in ein anderes Land ziehen und Deutsch lernen. Just by looking at the verb form in the translation, you can easily see that you are dealing with the Konjunktiv II. There are no past tense verbs in your sentence. 'ẃould' is the past subjunctive of 'will'.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    What is all this strange talk about past tense to indicate future? You are dealing with the conditional here, a hyothetical situation introduced by the word 'imagine': what you imagine has not happened,
    Well, we tend to use the word 'conditional' of utterances containing such expressions as 'if', 'unless', 'providing', etc. The utterance we are discussing is certainly hypothetical; it is not conditional.

    "Imagine you would have to go to another country and learn German." There is nothing wrong with this sentence.
    There is nothing catstrophically wrong with it. It's just that 'Imagine you had to' is correct. If Danman were taking a Cambridge exam, he might lose a point if he used the first construction.

    'had to' = 'müsstest' 'would' = 'würdest'. That is the difference.
    It matters not a jot what happens in another language. We are talking about what happens in English.

    Stell dir vor, du müsstest in ein anderes Land ziehen und Deutsch lernen. Just by looking at the verb form in the translation, you can easily see that you are dealing with the Konjunktiv II.
    The English may well be rendered by the 'Konjunktiv II' in German. That is irrelevant.

    There are no past tense verbs in your sentence.
    ' You are simply wrong. 'had' is a past tense form. You might wish to call it a 'past subjunctive', but it's still a past tense form.

    ẃould' is the past subjunctive of 'will'.
    So, even by your analysis, it's a past tense form. Some modal constructions may well be rendered by subjunctive forms in other languages; it's not particularly helpful to think of them as subjunctive in English.
    5

  6. #16
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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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.
    Actually, your sentence is possible, but, lacking an appropriate time adverbial, highly unnatural (leading to your teacher's certainly well-meant correction).

    If you had said something like

    Imagine that, having recently got a job in Berlin, you would have to leave for Germany within a few weeks.

    there would have been no problem.
    Last edited by philo2009; 25-Nov-2010 at 07:30.

  7. #17
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    'ẃould' is the past subjunctive of 'will'.
    That is not a matter of fact but opinion and should be stated as such- many people would interpret it differently.

  8. #18
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Oh yeah, you can use 'would' as the simple past of 'will', but not when you are talking about hypothetical situations, which, being such, have not happened, and can therefore not be located in past time. An example of such a sentence would be: 'Imagine you would have to go to another country and learn German.' 'Imagine' already says: this has not happened.

    If you can locate this statement as something that happened somewhere in the past, then I should like to see what you call a possible future event, and how you would phrase a description of it! There is no matter of opinion here: an event that has not occurred is not the same as an event that has occurred. The former is irreal, the latter is past tense.

    'would' in the sentence in question is a subjunctive. I find it strange that you should even try to dispute this, but maybe you have some kind of argument to put forward. I look forward to hearing it!

  9. #19
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post

    'would' in the sentence in question is a subjunctive. I find it strange that you should even try to dispute this, but maybe you have some kind of argument to put forward. I look forward to hearing it!
    This has been discussed so often and in so many places that it would be tedious to start up again here. There are opinions on both sides, and nobody can 'prove' that something is or is not a subjunctive - the word itself is only a label.

    Tdol's words appear reasonable: "That is not a matter of fact but opinion and should be stated as such".

  10. #20
    Pedroski is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 3rd conditional?

    I disagree. You wish to say that a hypothetical situation can be described as something that 'happened' and that it 'happened' in the past, which is why past tense verb forms are used. By the same logic, because I use the word 'can' in 'I can' it must always mean I am putting things in tins, purely and simply because it is written the same as 'can'. You will, I hope agree, that this is not so, and that to try to describe the subjunctive as a form of past tense, because it is written the same, is nonsense.

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