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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Transformation of sentence

    If it continues to rain, the soccer match will be cancelled.

    Which of the following is the correct sentence when the above is transformed using 'Unless'?

    UNLESS the rain stops, the soccer match will be cancelled.

    UNLESS it stops raining, the soccer match will be cancelled.

    If neither way is correct, how should the sentence be transformed?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    UNLESS the rain stops, the soccer match will be cancelled.
    UNLESS it stops raining, the soccer match will be cancelled.
    They are both fine.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    Thanks, 5jj.

    If it continues to rain, the soccer match will be cancelled.

    Besides the transformed sentences I posted earlier, could I transform the above sentence as follows?

    Unless it continues to rain, the soccer match will not be cancelled.
    The soccer match will not be cancelled unless it continues to rain.

  4. #4
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    Could somebody please help? Thank you very much.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    No, but it's a matter of logic not grammar. The match could be cancelled for reasons unrelated to weather.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    Thanks, Barb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, 5jj.

    If it continues to rain, the soccer match will be cancelled.

    Besides the transformed sentences I posted earlier, could I transform the above sentence as follows?

    Unless it continues to rain, the soccer match will not be cancelled.
    The soccer match will not be cancelled unless it continues to rain.
    The above is an exercise set by our local teacher.

    We have to tranform the original sentence so that the new sentence has the same meaning as the original.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    But 5jj already told you that your first suggestions were okay. Your later ones are the ones that don't pass the logic test.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    Many thanks, Barb.

    I thought that the later sentences were in order. Many thanks for confirming that they are wrong.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 27-Jul-2012 at 05:17.

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    They are grammatical. They do not have the same meaning. They guarantee that weather is the only thing that would cause the match to be cancelled. There are other reasons that things are cancelled.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 27-Jul-2012 at 12:56.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation of sentence

    I dislike such transformation exercises. They seem to suggest that 'unless' means exactly the same as 'if ... not'. As Barb has shown, this is not always so.


    UNLESS is frequently presented as an alternative to IF...NOT, and some English course books give exercises in which students must change one form into the other, with the (sometimes explicit) idea that there is no difference in meaning between such utterances as:



    1. I'm going swimming tomorrow if it doesn't rain.
    2. I'm going swimming tomorrow unless it rains.


    In fact, as always in English, if a different word is used, there is some degree of difference in meaning, even if the practical difference is small. IF in [1] suggests uncertainty about the possibility of rain, and consequent uncertainty about the possibility of going swimming. UNLESS has a meaning similar to except in the following situation(s) or if and only if ... not; the certainty of going swimming is greater in the speaker's mind in [2) than in [1). How great or small the certainty is within the speaker's mind in each case is of course known only to the speaker at the time of utterance.

    It is for this reason that in counterfactual hypotheses about the past, UNLESS is far less commonly used. In [3], below the speaker mentions one situation that would have made his parents unhappy; the possibility exists of there being other situations that would equally have made them unhappy. [4] would imply that the parents would have been unhappy in every contingency except the speaker's going to university - theoretically possible but unlikely.


    1. My parents would have been unhappy if I hadn't gone to university.
    2. ?My parents would have been unhappy unless I had gone to university.


    In addition, as we have discovered with [2], the use of UNLESS implies that the certainty of the occurrence of the situation in the consequent clause is greater than with IF...NOT. The speaker is not likely to imply greater certainty of occurrence of something that he or she knows did not occur.
    Last edited by 5jj; 27-Jul-2012 at 08:47.
    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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