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Thread: will x 2

  1. Steven D's Avatar

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    #61

    Re: will x 2

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    It is a proverb; but maybe it's too unfamiliar to appear 'universally true'. Let me try some parallel examples:

    1. If a person has died, he is no longer alive.
    2. If a person has not arrived on time, we say he is 'late'.
    3. If MS Excel has not been installed on your pc, you can't open an Excel spreadsheet.

    It seems to me that these can only be zero conditionals.

    MrP

    What if those things have not happened? The condition is that they have happened.

    1. If a person has died, he is no longer alive.

    1A. If a person dies, he will no longer be alive.

    Would you call 1A a zero conditinal? It means the same thing as 1.

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    #62

    Re: will x 2

    1. If a person has died, he is no longer alive.
    4. If a person has died, he is unable to talk.

    We would not restrict these examples to particular circumstances. We could use them any time, and they would still be true.

    If I say to you now: 'if a person has died, he is no longer alive', you may think that I am stating the obvious (i.e. a universal law); but you're extremely unlikely to think that someone near me at this moment has indeed died.

    Nor do you have to wait for someone to die to know that the statement is universally true.

    Like all zero conditionals, it has something of the nature of a tautology.

    MrP

  2. Steven D's Avatar

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    #63

    Re: will x 2

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    1. If a person has died, he is no longer alive.
    4. If a person has died, he is unable to talk.

    We would not restrict these examples to particular circumstances. We could use them any time, and they would still be true.

    If I say to you now: 'if a person has died, he is no longer alive', you may think that I am stating the obvious (i.e. a universal law); but you're extremely unlikely to think that someone near me at this moment has indeed died.

    Nor do you have to wait for someone to die to know that the statement is universally true.

    Like all zero conditionals, it has something of the nature of a tautology.

    MrP

    I understand, but, still, with the present perfect the meaning changes. It doesn't mean "for all time and any time". It means "if it has happened and only if it has happened". No Yes

    Last edited by Steven D; 09-Aug-2005 at 13:47.

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    #64

    Re: will x 2

    I'm interested that you say that. I would have said it had exactly the same sense of 'for all time and any time'. It's possible though that my BrE ears hear the present perfect differently from AmE ears.

    Let me see:

    1. (It is true for all time, and at any time,) that if you heat water to 100C, it boils.
    ok.

    2. (It is true for all time, and at any time,) that if Joe's late, he's stuck in traffic.
    if Joe is immortal.

    3. (It is true for all time, and at any time,) that if a person has died, he is no longer alive.
    ok.

    #1 and #3 were true in 4000BC, and they'll be true in 16000 AD. Even if no one exists, they remain true.

    #2 is true while Joe exists; before and after which it is meaningless, rather than untrue.

    But I may have misunderstood your point.

    MrP

  3. Steven D's Avatar

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    #65

    Re: will x 2

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    I'm interested that you say that. I would have said it had exactly the same sense of 'for all time and any time'. It's possible though that my BrE ears hear the present perfect differently from AmE ears.

    Let me see:

    1. (It is true for all time, and at any time,) that if you heat water to 100C, it boils.
    ok.

    2. (It is true for all time, and at any time,) that if Joe's late, he's stuck in traffic.
    if Joe is immortal.

    3. (It is true for all time, and at any time,) that if a person has died, he is no longer alive.
    ok.

    #1 and #3 were true in 4000BC, and they'll be true in 16000 AD. Even if no one exists, they remain true.

    #2 is true while Joe exists; before and after which it is meaningless, rather than untrue.

    But I may have misunderstood your point.

    MrP
    I can understand your point. However, I simply don't see it that way. It's just a case of different perspectives. - lots of fun bouncing it back and forth though.


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