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  1. #21
    Anton1 is offline Newbie
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    Re: conditional 2- hard to tell tense

    Conditional 2 can't be restricted to only "counter-factual present" and "unlikely(hypothetical) future", it also includes timeless,

    -> I strongly agree with this argumentation.

    Anton

  2. #22
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    Re: conditional 2- hard to tell tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Anton1 View Post
    Conditional 2 can't be restricted to only "counter-factual present" and "unlikely(hypothetical) future", it also includes timeless,

    -> I strongly agree with this argumentation.

    Anton
    I think so too, for timeless, is it unlikely or counterfactual? I guess it's unlikely for timlessness.

  3. #23
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    Re: conditional 2- hard to tell tense

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I think so too, for timeless, is it unlikely or counterfactual? I guess it's unlikely for timlessness.
    If the moon were only 100 miles from the earth, we'd have some pretty high tides. Timeless; counterfactual.

    If there were underground water on Mars, as yet undetected, there might be some primitive life forms. Timeless; unlikely.

  4. #24
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    Re: conditional 2- hard to tell tense

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    If the moon were only 100 miles from the earth, we'd have some pretty high tides. Timeless; counterfactual.

    If there were underground water on Mars, as yet undetected, there might be some primitive life forms. Timeless; unlikely.
    I got conviced there is nothing like unlikely present(timeless) except for unlikely future after a few times of marathon discussions so far, but I abruptly see this, getting confused again. Can I just take this as an exceptional case only?

  5. #25
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    Re: conditional 2- hard to tell tense

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I got conviced there is nothing like unlikely present(timeless) except for unlikely future after a few times of marathon discussions so far, but I abruptly see this, getting confused again. Can I just take this as an exceptional case only?
    No. The only reason that you are confused is because you are trying to make 'rules' when there are none.

    Try to accept that that all conditional sentences are in a way hypohetical. The possibility of the realisation of the hypothetical situation ranges from effectively 100% ( the so-called 'zero conditional') to effectively 0% (what some of us call counter-factual). Context, co-text and the shared knowledge of speaker and listener usually make the intended meaning clear. If it does not, questions may be asked and/or further information given:

    A: John arrived an hour ago
    B: Well, if he arrived an hour ago, we must set off now.

    C: If he had arrived an hour ago, he would be here ago.
    A. He arrived! he called me half an hour ago.

    B is almost certainly indicating acceptance of the factuality of A's first statement. However, intonation, particularly a heavily stressed 'if,' would suggest doubt about this. We cannot say absolutely..
    C is almost cartainly indicating strong doubt, perhaps even disbelief about the arrival.

  6. #26
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    Re: conditional 2- hard to tell tense

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    No. The only reason that you are confused is because you are trying to make 'rules' when there are none.

    Try to accept that that all conditional sentences are in a way hypohetical. The possibility of the realisation of the hypothetical situation ranges from effectively 100% ( the so-called 'zero conditional') to effectively 0% (what some of us call counter-factual). Context, co-text and the shared knowledge of speaker and listener usually make the intended meaning clear. If it does not, questions may be asked and/or further information given:

    A: John arrived an hour ago
    B: Well, if he arrived an hour ago, we must set off now.
    C: If he had arrived an hour ago, he would be here ago.
    A. He arrived! he called me half an hour ago.

    B is almost certainly indicating acceptance of the factuality of A's first statement. However, intonation, particularly a heavily stressed 'if,' would suggest doubt about this. We cannot say absolutely..
    C is almost cartainly indicating strong doubt, perhaps even disbelief about the arrival.
    You seem to mean there's no hard, fixed, strict rules for each conditional, and the barriers among different conditionals and possibilities are kind of vague depending on context and people's attitude or mind. Even if you express the same sentence, it may be interpreted as strong or weak in its intention depending on various factors.
    So in some cases, even 2nd conditional can be interpreted as unlikely timeless, a vague area between counterfactual and 1st conditional, but I guess it's not so common. I hope my understanding is following your explanation.

  7. #27
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    Re: conditional 2- hard to tell tense

    In most of the threads in which we have discussed conditionals, the people responding to your questions have stressed the importance of context. In this thread, Tdol mentioned context as far back as the second post in this threas.

    But, let's face it, this is true of most utterances in English. A 'simple' utterance such as , "I love you" can have an extremely wide range of shades of meaning, including, depending on the context, "I hate you" and "You love me".

    The surprising utterance "Stalin and Hitler were devoted to each other all their lives" becomes less surprising if we realise that the speaker is talking about two dogs given 'amusing' names by their owner.

    I have chosen admittedly far-fetched examples in the second and third paragraphs above, but they perhaps help make the point that it is impossible, literally impossible, to say with absolute certainty what any English utterance means exactly if we do not have some context. The same is almost certainly true of all other languages.

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