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  1. #31
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: What happens if ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    Does my interpretation ... it with that.
    Allow me to clarify: it is NOT an issue of grammar! Grammar exists to specify possible combinations of words and the forms that they should assume in certain sentence-positions (respectively, syntax and morphology/accidence). Grammar per se has therefore nothing to say about the semantic or referential suitability of a certain sentence in any given context.

    Nevertheless, for what it's worth, yes - and, as I trust I will by now have succeeded in making clear, I say this simply as a somewhat puristic native-speaker rather than as a grammarian - I do have doubts about the suitability of the sentence in the context that you cite. That said, however, many native speakers would find this particular use of the zero conditional (i.e. in a sentence beginning 'What happens if...?') quite unexceptionable, at least for informal use.

  2. #32
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: What happens if ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Allow me to clarify: it is NOT an issue of grammar! Grammar exists to specify possible combinations of words and the forms that they should assume in certain sentence-positions (respectively, syntax and morphology/accidence). Grammar per se has therefore nothing to say about the semantic or referential suitability of a certain sentence in any given context.

    Nevertheless, for what it's worth, yes - and, as I trust I will by now have succeeded in making clear, I say this simply as a somewhat puristic native-speaker rather than as a grammarian - I do have doubts about the suitability of the sentence in the context that you cite. That said, however, many native speakers would find this particular use of the zero conditional (i.e. in a sentence beginning 'What happens if...?') quite unexceptionable, at least for informal use.
    Dear philo2009,

    There are, of course, different concepts of grammar. But this is not and is not to become our issue here.

    From my former question mentioning both grammarians and stylisticians you will have learnt that I too think that the query cannot be reduced to grammar, thus sharing your point of view. I am not telling you anything new that the different linguistic levels are not seperated from each other but rather interlinked.

    But the above was just meant to be said in passing. What I was properly going to say is that you have made me see clearly now. Thanks so much and all the best!

    Hucky

  3. #33
    Hucky is offline Member
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    Default Re: What happens if ...?

    Dear fivejedjon,

    Everything comes to him who waits. Wisdom should not be judged according to strictly grammatical criteria. Nevertheless, judged from a grammar point of view the proverb is absolutely correct. What matters more, however, is the fact that it is true. And it would remain a wise proverb (besides, one of my favourites), if it violated a grammar rule. Content alone would suffice to constitute a great saying. If it is enveloped in correct and beautiful language – the better still!

    It was apparently mere coincidence that in our library this afternoon my eyes caught sight of the grammar book you quoted from the other day. I suddenly thought to myself that must have been the one you had in mind. Before I had even consulted the index, my hand happened to be on p 781. I was more than delighted what I could read there. I´ll give you the whole passage as a quote:

    “Note

    There are two exceptions to the rule that will/won´t cannot appear in if-clauses (and in some of the other types of clauses mentioned above): (my emphasis)

    i) Where will/won´t has a volitional or habitual meaning, rather than a pure future meaning:

    If you won´t (= refuse to) help us, all our plans will be ruined.

    ii) Where even though the if-clause refers to the future, the condition expressed by the whole sentence obtains in the present:

    If he wont´t arrive before nine, there´s no point in ordering dinner for him.
    If it will make any difference, I´ll gladly lend you some money.

    In both these sentences, the future contingency expressed in the if-clause determines a present decision.”

    (Quirk, R., et al., A Grammar of Contemporary English, London (Longman), 1972, p 781,
    cp Quirk, R., et al., A University Grammar of English, London (Longman), 1978, p 338, the latter was even in my private library)

    As the quotations speaks for itself, there is no explication needed.

    I simply wonder how you could have missed that passage. Yet, here it is, at last, for your kind consideration.

    Hucky


    PS Things that look alike don´t have essentially to be the same. The same form may denote tense, and modality, etc.

  4. #34
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What happens if ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    It was apparently mere coincidence that in our library this afternoon my eyes caught sight of the grammar book you quoted from the other day. I suddenly thought to myself that must have been the one you had in mind.
    No.
    I clearly noted: '
    Quirk et al (1985)'.
    As I noted before, "I think that I have written more enough on this".

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