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  1. #1
    confused123 is offline Newbie
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    Default pls, how to use the "if" word with the correct tense

    Hi there! I am confused of what tense I should use with the "if" statement. Many times I heard of people using the past tense in their "if" statements such as:

    - If there was a bed here, that would be good.

    - If he saw it, he wouldn't believe it.

    I wonder if the above statements can also be used in the present tense like:

    - If there is bed here, that will be good.

    - If he sees it, he won't believe it.


    Seriously, I only heard the 2 statements in the past tense only. Please explain to me if I can use them in both present and past tense or they can only be used in the past tense only. Please advise me how to use the "if" statements with the correct tense. Please also show me examples, that will be great. Thank you.

  2. #2
    sumon.'s Avatar
    sumon. is offline Member
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    Default Re: pls, how to use the "if" word with the correct tense

    Not a teacher
    welcome to this forum
    Yes, you can use them in both present and past tense.
    - If there is bed here, that will be good.

    - If he sees it, he won't believe it.
    This condition tells about a situation that is likely to be if you(the person) want
    But, If there is bed here, that will be good. it is not a correct sentence(not sure). Probably, it would be If there was a bed here, that would be good.

    - If there was a bed here, that would be good.( actually, there is no bed now as it is untrue now.)

    - If he saw it, he wouldn't believe it.(Actually he does not see it . He may see in the future but possibility is very low as it is untrue now.
    This condition tells about a situation that would be unlikely in the future or untrue now

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: pls, how to use the "if" word with the correct tense

    Very basically, if we use the present tense in the if- clause, we are introducing a real future possibility. If we use a past tense in the if-clause, we are introducing a hypothetical future or present possibility. You can read more here:
    English Conditionals: An Introduction

    English Conditionals: First Conditional


    English Conditionals: Second Conditional
    Last edited by 5jj; 21-Dec-2011 at 09:16.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: pls, how to use the "if" word with the correct tense

    Quote Originally Posted by sumon. View Post
    But, If there is bed here, that will be good. it is not a correct sentence (not sure).
    It is possible if we are talking about a future possibility.

    A: I see the flat has a table and chairs already. I want to move in next week. If there is a bed here (then), that will be good.

    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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