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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    future or present?

    The underlined is conditional 2 meaning an impossible or improbable case in the present or the future, but if you have to choose one, is it about the present or the future? Conditional 2 always entails the present and the future, so does it mean you don't have to make strict distinction of the two or are they seperated? I've seen numerous cases where to make such distinction is really hard. Please tell me the truth. (Don't tell me the following is the future or the present from the past, I already know it, I mean general concept)
    **** I mean "If I were able to move" seems either the opposite of the present(I can't move now, but what if I can move now?)
    or improbability of the future(I may not be able to move in the future, but what if I will be able to..?)

    ex)My friend Martin used to complain about the city of Los Angeles, where he lived for three years studying in a college. He wanted to go around here and there., but he couldn't do so because of the traffic and the high prices. Martin thought life would be much better if he were able to move to another city.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: future or present?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    The underlined is conditional 2 meaning an impossible or improbable case in the present or the future, but if you have to choose one, is it about the present or the future? Conditional 2 always entails the present and/or the future, so does it mean you don't have to make strict distinction of the two or are they sepearated? I've seen numerous cases where to make such distinction is really hard. Please tell me the truth. We try to do that always.(Don't tell me the following is the future or the present from the past, I already know it, I mean general concept)
    **** I mean "If I were able to move" seems either the opposite of the present(I can't move now, but what if I can could move now?)
    or improbability of the future (I may not be able to move in the future, but what if I will be were/was able to..?)
    It's simply a matter of context. This is true of all tenses and aspects in English (and in many other languages). Just to take one simple example - I am taking the tram to work. Without context, we have no idea whether the speaker is actually sitting on the tram at the moment of speaking, describing something that is happening in the limited present, or something that will happen tomorrow. Context is vital.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: future or present?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It's simply a matter of context. This is true of all tenses and aspects in English (and in many other languages). Just to take one simple example - I am taking the tram to work. Without context, we have no idea whether the speaker is actually sitting on the tram at the moment of speaking, describing something that is happening in the limited present, or something that will happen tomorrow. Context is vital.
    I got it, but to more deeply engage in this matter, we Koreans, as I feel, also don't seem to make clear distinction between the present and the future in subjuntive mood. I don't mean it's not always clear, many cases are quite clear if it they try to talk about the present or the future. But some conditionals are ambiguous. I guess it's because humans, whether westerners or Asians, share the same consciousness or mentality. I understand context is really vital in judging the present or the future, but some cases are hard to tell.
    I guess that's why the concept conditional 2 was created naturally to mean the both sometimes without clear border
    Last edited by keannu; 18-Oct-2011 at 00:43.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: future or present?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I guess that's why the concept conditional 2 was created naturally to mean the both sometimes without clear border
    I don't really see what point you are making here. Few conditional sentences are ambiguous in context.

    The so-called first condition expresses a real possibility. This possibility is usually a future one, but it may be present.

    A: I think John is in Paris at the moment.
    B: Damn! If he's in Paris, then he's with Marie.

    If it rains tomorrow, we'll have to cancel the match.


    The so-called second condition expresses a more remote, hypothetical possibility. If that possibility is about the present, then the the situation makes it counterfactual.

    A. John is in Paris at the moment.
    B. Damn! I'd be a lot happier if he were in Berlin
    . - He is not in Berlin and the speaker is not happier.

    If the moon crashed into the earth tomorrow, We'd all be dead within ten seconds. - No matter how remote the possibility, the speaker presents it as possible.

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: future or present?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I don't really see what point you are making here. Few conditional sentences are ambiguous in context.

    The so-called first condition expresses a real possibility. This possibility is usually a future one, but it may be present.

    A: I think John is in Paris at the moment.
    B: Damn! If he's in Paris, then he's with Marie.

    If it rains tomorrow, we'll have to cancel the match.

    The so-called second condition expresses a more remote, hypothetical possibility. If that possibility is about the present, then the the situation makes it counterfactual.

    A. John is in Paris at the moment.
    B. Damn! I'd be a lot happier if he were in Berlin. - He is not in Berlin and the speaker is not happier.

    If the moon crashed into the earth tomorrow, We'd all be dead within ten seconds. - No matter how remote the possibility, the speaker presents it as possible.
    I think my concept of unclear border between the present and the future is wrong, Thanks for your help, I will try to tell the difference as best as I can.

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