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  1. #1
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    If Carol is working in the garden, Peter often goes down to pub.

    In 5jj's Paper on Conditionals I found the sentence above. After having read the accompanied description, I still don't understand what the sentence means. I see the problem in having the present continuous (which I suppose indicates that the action has a duration and lasts for some time) in a sentence with present simple (which in my opinion is used for repeated actions). How come that Carol can work in the garden - NOW -, Peter can still go OFTEN to the pub? I am confused.

    Thank you in advance for an explanation

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    Nobody is saying that Carol is working now. If Carol is involved (perhaps regularly) in an activity that takes some time, then Peter often, while she is so engaged, goes down to the pub.

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    "When" seems a better choice to me than "if" here.

  4. #4
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Nobody is saying that Carol is working now. If Carol is involved (perhaps regularly) in an activity that takes some time, then Peter often, while she is so engaged, goes down to the pub.
    If I got it correctly, the adverb often (with present simple) denotes the frequency of Peter's going to pub within the time when Carol is working and not within an indefinite period of time that is not specified.
    Is that right?

  5. #5
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "When" seems a better choice to me than "if" here.
    It may be the one you would normally expect to hear; that does not necessarily mean it is better. Indeed, there is a difference. 'When' suggests that this does happen; 'if suggests more that it may happen. In some utterances, 'if' is more natural than 'when':

    Sometimes, when I get home after work, if my wife is working in the study, I get a beer from the fridge and go and sit in the garden until she's finished.

    In my article, I was looking at constructions that are sometimes dismissed as 'incorrect', and showing that they were not only possible but were not exceptional.

  6. #6
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post
    If I got it correctly, the adverb often (with present simple) denotes the frequency of Peter's going to pub within the time when Carol is working and not within an indefinite period of time that is not specified.
    Is that right?
    Yes

  7. #7
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    I haven't seen 5jj's paper on Conditionals () but I hope he did not end that sentence with "... Peter often goes down to pub". I suspect it says "... goes down the pub". If it does say "to", then 5jj has a correction to make!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  8. #8
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I haven't seen 5jj's paper on Conditionals () but I hope he did not end that sentence with "... Peter often goes down to pub". I suspect it says "... goes down the pub".
    It actually says 'down to the pub'. I've just checked it here.

  9. #9
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Re: If Carol si working... Peter often goes...

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I haven't seen 5jj's paper on Conditionals () but I hope he did not end that sentence with "... Peter often goes down to pub". I suspect it says "... goes down the pub". If it does say "to", then 5jj has a correction to make!
    It was my fault. I rewrote the sentence to my phone in a hurry and I omitted the article.

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