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Thread: Conditional

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    #1

    Conditional

    I have a problem with this kind of conditional sentences. For example, is this a correct use of the conditional:

    1. If I had been living in Canada, I would be married and have children.
    2. If I had been living in Canada, I would have been married and have children.
    3. If I were to live in Canada, I would be married and have children.

    Now I do not know what is the exact difference between sentence 1 and 3. I know that 1. is in the past and unreal and 3. is the unreal and imaginary, but If I was writing a story I am wondering which kind of conditional should one use. For example:

    1. He sat thinking that if he had been living in Canada, he would be married and have children. or
    2. He sat thinking that if he were to live in Canada, he would be married and have children.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Conditional

    We normally have some sort of context when we interpret conditional sentences, for example:

    (I have been living in Prague for several years. I am not married). If I had (still) been living in Canada, I would have got married (some years ago) and had children.

    (I have been living in Prague for several years. I am not married). If I had (still) been living in Canada, I would be married and have children (by now).

    (I am living in Prague. I am not married). If I were living in Canada (now), I would be married and have children (by now).

    (I live in Prague. I am not married). If I were to live in Canada (at some time in the future), I would get married and have children.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Conditional

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I have a problem with this kind of conditional sentences. For example, is this a correct use of the conditional:

    1. If I had been living in Canada, I would be married and have children.
    2. If I had been living in Canada, I would have been married and have children.
    3. If I were to live in Canada, I would be married and have children. "If I were to" suggests the future, so I would expect "I would get married/I would marry and have children".

    Now I do not know what is the exact difference between sentence 1 and 3. I know that 1. is in the past and unreal and 3. is the unreal and imaginary, but If I was writing a story I am wondering which kind of conditional should one use. For example:

    1. He sat thinking that if he had been living in Canada, he would be married and have children.
    He sat thinking that if he had been living in Canada, he would have been married and had children.
    2. He sat thinking that if he were to live in Canada, he would be married and have children.
    He sat thinking that if were living in Canada, he would be married and have children [by now].
    See above.

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