- For Teachers
1. counterfactual present - opposite of the present fact depending on speakers' attitude.
2. Hypothetical future- unlikley future (a very low possibility unlikely to happen in the future) depending on speakers' attitude
These two are what I heard, but I couldn't tell counterfactual present and hypothetical general time(Mickey Mouse case with a bunch of other cases) So may I assume hypothetical general time belongs not to counterfactual present but to hypothetical future so that the two should be combined to (general hypothetical= general time+future) ? It was an orphan concept in my brain.
Last edited by keannu; 05-Dec-2011 at 23:28.
Let's go back a step or two. Are any of the examples I gave to you in post #6 unclear to you? if so, please try to select one thing that causes a problem, and say what it is that troubles you.
If not, well, we'll have some basis to work on.
Explaining the Mickey Mouse case, You said it's a hypothetical situation(possible but unlikely) that is related to general time, but you divided two caterories of future hypothetical situation and counterfactual hypothesis.
So which does this hypothetical situation of Mick Mouse case of general time belong to?
You are trying to read far too much into this. The writer is simply presenting the possibility of the colleague turning up as Mickey mouse as a hypothetical situation. The form used suggests that the writer is aware that the realisation of the situation is possible, but unlikely. For example, if one of your colleagues turned up to a serious business meeting dressed as Mickey Mouse, it’s likely you’d remember the funny incident a month later ...
ex)If I got up at six tomorrow, I'd be able to catch the Berlin train.
The writer is presenting a hypothetical situation. Without further context, we do not know if there is any real likelihood of his getting up at six or not.
If I were in Berlin now, I'd be going out for a currywurst.
This is a counterfactual hypothesis. The speaker is not in Berlin.
My question is simple.
There are two kinds of second conditionals.
Is hypothetical timeless (like Mickey Mouse or numerous imaginary cases) an exceptional one or does it belong to 1?
Is hypothetical different from counterfactual or are the two same?
I thought Mickey Mouse case has low possibility as you said, so it's hypothetical, and at the same time I felt it can't be counterfactual, that's why I got confused.
I think it's the problem of notion or concept, not classification for me.
"hypothetical - 1.of or based on or serving as a hypothesis. 2. supposed but nor necessarily real or true.
hypothesis - 1. a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without the assumption of its truth."
Concise Oxford Dictionary.
If I hypothesise about future situations, then there is a chance, however remote, that they may materialise. If I hypothesise about present situations which do not exist, or about past situations which did nor exist, then they are counterfactual.
Thank you so much, now I understand quite well.
and this will be last question, I won't ask you about this any more as this long-marathon will make you tired, I feel guilty.
I wonder why you said "Mickey mouse" case is possible but unlikely when it's timeless counterfactual, so the two contrasting concepts of unlikeliness and counterfactulity seemed to be there. I'm sorry!!