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  1. #1
    nhatruc30 is offline Newbie
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    Question Is this a third conditional sentence?

    Dear all.
    Here is a story which was told by a woman and this is a transcript of her story below.
    -----------
    A FUNNY THING HAPPENED TO ME...

    A funny thing happened to me last Friday. I'd gone into New York to do some holiday shopping. I wanted to get some presents, and I wanted to see the city all decorated for the holidays you know, the store windows and the big tree at Rockefeller Center. I had gotten into the city early, so by early afternoon I'd bought everything I wanted. Anyway, I was really tired all that shopping in crowded stores and I'd made plans for that night. I just wanted to get home so I could relax before I had to go out again. I went to the Long Island Railroad at Penn Station. It was well before rush hour. I had apparently just missed a train, and the next one wouldn't be leaving for 40 minutes, so I decided I had time for a cup of coffee. I bought a Times and went into a small doughnut shop and sat at the counter. I ordered a cup of coffee and a box of a half-dozen assorted mini-doughnuts I figured I would eat a couple and take the rest home for my family. Anyway, they were having a special on the mini-doughnuts, and I can't resist a bargain. I started the crossword puzzle in the paper.

    A few minutes later a woman sat down next to me on the stool to my left. That surprised me because there were several empty stools. There was nothing strange about her except that she was very tall. In fact, she looked like a typical businesswoman you know, conservative suit, briefcase. I didn't say anything; I just kept doing the crossword. Suddenly she reached out, opened the box of doughnuts, took one out, dunked it in her coffee, and began to eat it. I couldn't believe my eyes! Anyway, I didn't want to make a scene, so I decided to ignore it. I always avoid trouble if I can. I just took a doughnut myself and went back to my crossword.

    When the woman took a second doughnut I didn't say a word. After all, if I hadn't protested when she took the first one, how could I say anything when she took the second one? I pretended to be very interested in the puzzle. A few minutes later I casually put out my hand, took another doughnut, and glanced at the woman. She seemed to be glaring at me. She was making me feel so nervous that I decided to have a third doughnut. That left only one for only a minute. Sure enough, the woman took the last doughnut!

    I nervously continued eating my doughnut and decided to leave. I was ready to get up and go when the woman suddenly stood up and hurried out of the doughnut shop. I felt very relieved and decided to wait for two or three minutes before going myself. I finished my second cup of coffee, folded my newspaper, and stood up. And there, on the counter, underneath where my paper had been, was my unopened box of doughnuts.
    -----------

    After reading "if I hadn't protested when she took the first one, how could I say anything when she took the second one? " I feel confusing because the definition of the third conditional sentence is: refers to an imaginary past situation and speculates what might have been; if what happened was negative, then the opposite - the positive form would be used, and conversely, if what happened was positive, the negative form would be used; this conditional is used to express past mistakes, past wishes or to apologise. (If clause condition=If + past perfect,Independent clause=would/couldmight+infinitive). However, this woman didn't protest any thing about the situation which is according to story "I didn't want to make a scene, so I decided to ignore it. I always avoid trouble if I can.".



    If somebody understand this story, please give me an explanation whether author used the wrong conditional sentence like this .


    I'm expecting your reply
    Your sincerely

    Truc



  2. #2
    RealPeopleTalk is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is this a third conditional sentence?

    (I'm not a teacher)

    I think the definition you posted is slightly misleading. That kind of phrase can be used for thinking about possibilities:

    If I hadn't studied for the test, I would have failed.
    If I hadn't studied for the test, I still would have passed.

    If I hadn't eaten a donut, she would have eaten a donut.
    If I hadn't eaten a donut, she wouldn't have eaten a donut.
    If I had eaten a donut, she would have eaten a donut.
    If I had eaten a donut, she wouldn't have eaten a donut.

    The story sounds perfectly natural to me. (And by the way, that story is an ancient joke, told with many different items. Wouldn't surprise me to hear that there was a similar version from 10000BC told about a tasty chunk of meat from the hunt last week.)

  3. #3
    nhatruc30 is offline Newbie
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    Question Re: Is this a third conditional sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by RealPeopleTalk View Post
    (I'm not a teacher)

    I think the definition you posted is slightly misleading. That kind of phrase can be used for thinking about possibilities:

    If I hadn't studied for the test, I would have failed.
    If I hadn't studied for the test, I still would have passed.

    If I hadn't eaten a donut, she would have eaten a donut.
    If I hadn't eaten a donut, she wouldn't have eaten a donut.
    If I had eaten a donut, she would have eaten a donut.
    If I had eaten a donut, she wouldn't have eaten a donut.

    The story sounds perfectly natural to me. (And by the way, that story is an ancient joke, told with many different items. Wouldn't surprise me to hear that there was a similar version from 10000BC told about a tasty chunk of meat from the hunt last week.)

    Dear RealPeopleTalk.
    The definition which I posted that was quoted from a book "Study English IELTS preparation, authors are ANNA SHYMKIW and DAVID LARBALESTIER, from Australia Network publisher". Unfortunately, I am not be able post original page of the book because my post count is less than 10; Nevertheless I copied 100% of what the definition is.

    Truc

  4. #4
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Is this a third conditional sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by nhatruc30 View Post
    When the woman took a second doughnut I didn't say a word. After all, if I hadn't protested when she took the first one, how could I say anything when she took the second one? I pretended to be very interested in the puzzle. A few minutes later I casually put out my hand, took another doughnut, and glanced at the woman. She seemed to be glaring at me.

    After reading "if I hadn't protested when she took the first one, how could I say anything when she took the second one? " I feel confusinged because the definition of the third conditional sentence is: refers to an imaginary past situation and speculates what might have been; if what happened was negative, then the opposite - the positive form would be used, and conversely, if what happened was positive, the negative form would be used; this conditional is used to express past mistakes, past wishes or to apologise. (If clause condition=If + past perfect,Independent clause=would/couldmight+infinitive). However, this woman didn't protest any thing about the situation which is according to story "I didn't want to make a scene, so I decided to ignore it. I always avoid trouble if I can.".

    If somebody understands this story, please give me an explanation whether 0f why the author used the wrong conditional sentence like this .
    It's not wrong; it's simply not a third conditional.

    In that sentence 'if' has a meaning similar to 'given that'; the past perfect is a factual, not a hypothetical one. We could also use a past simple here - If I didn't protest ...

    If I had read your post sooner, I would have responded sooner. This is a third, past counterfactual conditional sentence. In fact, I did not read your post sooner, and I did not respond sooner.

    If I hadn't heard my alarm clock this morning, , how could blame my wife for not hearing it? This is not a third conditional. I am saying, "Given the fact that I did not hear the alarm clock myself, it was not really possible for me to blame my wife for not hearing it."

  5. #5
    nhatruc30 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is this a third conditional sentence?

    Dear fivejedjon

    I am writing to thank you very much for your explanation. English is very difficult for studying; however I feel eager to learn more after I receive explained things from you.
    Truc

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