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  1. #1
    The Exalted Father is offline Newbie
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    Default If this year's elections take place


    "If this year's elections take place without major difficulties, it would represent the first time in Pakistan's history that a civilian government would have made it through a five-year term."

    I know that when the unreal condition clause talks about present time, the verb with If should be in the simple past tense, isn't it? For example, If I had enough money, I would buy a new car.

    Why is the verb with If in this sentence in the simple present? "If this year's elections take place without major difficulties, it would represent".

  2. #2
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    Default Re: If this year's elections take place

    It's a different concept. With "If I had enough money", it means you definitely don't have enough money now. If it's possible that you might save up enough money, then it would become "If I have enough money this summer, I'll buy a car".

    With "If this year's elections take place without major difficulties", we know that the elections will definitely take place (so the present tense is used to denote the future) and the only thing in question is whether there will be major difficulties or not.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    Default Re: If this year's elections take place

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    With "If this year's elections take place without major difficulties", we know that the elections will definitely take place (so the present tense is used to denote the future) and the only thing in question is whether there will be major difficulties or not.
    Even if we were not sure whether the elections would take place, we would still use a present tense in the 'if' clause - if we considered that the possibility of their taking place was real.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 15-Jan-2013 at 12:58. Reason: typo
    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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    Default Re: If this year's elections take place

    Yes, absolutely true. "If this year's elections take place, it will be a miracle".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    Default Re: If this year's elections take place

    I think the writer has mixed two forms of conditions:

    real: "If this year's elections take place without major difficulties, it will represent the first time in Pakistan's history that a civilian government has made it through a five-year term."

    less real: "If this year's elections took place without major difficulties, it would represent the first time in Pakistan's history that a civilian government had made it through a five-year term."

    I don't think anybody would notice it in speech. Even in writing, I don't think it will bother many people. It didn't jar horribly with me.
    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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