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Thread: if...

  1. #1
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Post if...

    Dear friends,

    Would you please tell me whether I need the word 'have' in the following sentence? Will it's meaning be different when we leave or do not leave out 'have'? Thank you!

    'I guess I'll have to learn to like frogs if I've ever decided to visit there (somewhere with lots of frogs).'

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: if...

    More natural would be:

    'I guess I'll have to learn to like frogs if I ever decide to visit there.

  3. #3
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Default Re: if...

    Thank you! 5jj. How about leaving out 'ever'? I thought that 'ever' is usually used with 'have ever/has ever'?

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: if...

    You can leave out ever.

    Without it it's a bit more likely that you will decide to go there.

    Rover

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: if...

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Thank you! 5jj. How about leaving out 'ever'? I thought that 'ever' is usually used with 'have ever/has ever'?
    Ever can be used with different tenses and forms.

  6. #6
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Default Re: if...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    You can leave out ever.

    Without it it's a bit more likely that you will decide to go there.

    Rover
    Oftentimes I have trouble with small words, like ever. Most dictionaries say it means 'at any time'. But does it refer to time in the past or in the present?

    If I say 'if I have enough time, I write to my parents every week', does it mean that if I have enough time, I definitely will write to my parents every week?
    But if I say 'if I ever have enough time, I write to my parents every week', will there be any diference in meaning?

    Thank you!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: if...

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Oftentimes I often have trouble with small words, like ever. Most dictionaries say it means 'at any time'. But does it refer to time in the past or in the present?
    Past, general time or future. Verb tense and context tell you which is meant.

    If I say 'if I have enough time, I write to my parents every week', does it mean that if I have enough time, I definitely will write to my parents every week?
    It's general, not future. The suggestion is that it is pretty certain that I write in these circumstances,
    But if I say 'if I ever have enough time, I write to my parents every week', will there be any diference in meaning?
    The writer is suggesting that it is unusual for him/her to have enough time.
    5

  8. #8
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Default Re: if...

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    But if I say 'if I ever have enough time, I write to my parents every week', will there be any diference in meaning?
    The writer is suggesting that it is unusual for him/her to have enough time.
    But in this case, 'ever' has anything to do with the interpretation of 'at any time'? In addition, 'if I ever have enough time, I write to my parents every week' and 'if I ever decide to visit there, I guess I'll have to learn to like frogs' have anything in common?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Heidi; 27-Apr-2011 at 10:17.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: if...

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    But in this case, 'ever' has anything to do with the interpretation of 'atany time'?
    Yes.

    If, at any time during my busy life, I have time (which is unlikely), I write to my parents every week.

    It's a little illogical, because it seems that the speaker does not have time, and therefore does not write every week. However, in conversation we say this sort of thing. The implication is - 'I try/would like to write every week'. It may be that during occasional periods, the speaker does have time, and then writes on a weekly basis.

  10. #10
    Heidi is offline Member
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    Default Re: if...

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Yes.

    If, at any time during my busy life, I have time (which is unlikely), I write to my parents every week.

    It's a little illogical, because it seems that the speaker does not have time, and therefore does not write every week. However, in conversation we say this sort of thing. The implication is - 'I try/would like to write every week'. It may be that during occasional periods, the speaker does have time, and then writes on a weekly basis.
    Thank you!
    Let's go back to the original sentence: 'if I ever decide to visit there, I guess I'll have to learn to like frogs', Rover said without 'ever', it is a bit more likely that the speaker will decide to visit there, so I guess 'ever' has something to do with 'indicating uncertainty'? Does it also has something to do with 'at any time' in this case?
    Last edited by Heidi; 27-Apr-2011 at 10:42.

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