Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    wotcha's Avatar
    wotcha is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    735
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    1.If I knew her phone number, I would call her.

    2.Did I know her phone number, I would call her.

    One of my grammar books say 2 is grammatically. Is it?


  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    Quote Originally Posted by wotcha View Post
    1.If I knew her phone number, I would call her.

    2.Did I know her phone number, I would call her.

    One of my grammar books say 2 is grammatically correct. Is it?
    Not in most dialects of modern English.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,667
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    Quote Originally Posted by wotcha View Post
    1.If I knew her phone number, I would call her.

    2.Did I know her phone number, I would call her.

    One of my grammar books say 2 is grammatically. Is it?

    Sometimes 'if' is not necessary. For example:
    "Had I known her phone number, I would have called her." This is the legitimate past tense equivalent of your sentence, which does not work in the present tense.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    14,522
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    I read a lot of American crime novels, and I've become aware in recent years of characters speaking colloquially omitting if in conditional sentences.

    'You wanna keep your kneecaps intact, asshole, stay outta my face.'

    Rover

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I read a lot of American crime novels
    Is that really something you want to be generally known?

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,667
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Is that really something you want to be generally known?

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    14,522
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Is that really something you want to be generally known?
    I'll get my coat.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I'll get my coat.
    How many times do I have to remind you about your hat?

  9. #9
    sparklingdark is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    I just taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd conditionals in an intermediate class, and the rule in the book was IF can only be omitted in the third conditional, like Raymott said.

    You can instead use, Had I known and Otherwise.

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Omission of 'if' in conditional.

    Quote Originally Posted by sparklingdark View Post
    I just taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd conditionals in an intermediate class, and the rule in the book was IF can only be omitted in the third conditional, like Raymott said.

    You can instead use, Had I known and Otherwise.
    We can express conditions in several ways without if; it's just that wotcha's example is not possible in standard English.

    If he comes/came - should he come
    If he came - were he to come

    If there is no pain, there can be no gain - No pain, no gain

    If you don't stop, I'll shoot - Stop, or I'll shoot.
    .....................................T Try to escape, and I'll shoot.

Similar Threads

  1. 'if only' and 'only if'
    By duiter in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-Aug-2010, 16:10
  2. [Grammar] 'what if', 'will' and 'would'
    By ceyg in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Jul-2010, 16:41
  3. [Grammar] Question about omission (I don't know if it's even called omission)
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 29-Oct-2009, 12:56
  4. [General] Use of 'If'
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Oct-2009, 20:35
  5. using 'should' instead of 'if'
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 31-May-2008, 23:11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •