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  1. #1
    saloom2's Avatar
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    Default Can If Conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?

    Hello everyone,


    Can If conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?
    I wish I had better English, but I work hard to improve it. I'm studying for IGCSE, so I'm only interested in BrE.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can If Conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by saloom2 View Post
    Can If conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?
    You will encounter such sentences as: If Caesar makes the wrong decision, he may lose everything, when the speaker/writer is using a present tense to make a past situation more vivid.

    You will also come across such sentences as: If Andrea was at work, I would prepare the evening meal. Although this has the appearance of a 'second conditional', it is actually referring to a regular past situation.

    I dislike the terms 'First, Second, Third, Zero' and 'Mixed' Conditionals. There are dozens of possible conditional sentences that do not fit into these traditional patterns.

    Here's just one example: If you heat ice, it will melt. This has the appearance of a 'first conditional' but the meaning of a 'zero conditional'.

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    Default Re: Can If Conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    You will encounter such sentences as: If Caesar makes the wrong decision, he may lose everything, when the speaker/writer is using a present tense to make a past situation more vivid.

    You will also come across such sentences as: If Andrea was at work, I would prepare the evening meal. Although this has the appearance of a 'second conditional', it is actually referring to a regular past situation.

    I dislike the terms 'First, Second, Third, Zero' and 'Mixed' Conditionals. There are dozens of possible conditional sentences that do not fit into these traditional patterns.

    Here's just one example: If you heat ice, it will melt. This has the appearance of a 'first conditional' but the meaning of a 'zero conditional'.
    ----------------
    If you heat ice, it will melt. This is wrong. Because there is no ambiguity.
    If you heat ice, it melts. This is correct.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can If Conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tina3 View Post
    If you heat ice, it will melt. This is wrong. It is not wrong. It is perfectly natural and correct. Because there is no ambiguity. Do you think that ambiguity is desirable?
    5

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can If Conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?

    Well, what you said in your post really confused me! How would I know which to use? It clearly depends on the context, no doubt. But would you give more details on this part?
    I wish I had better English, but I work hard to improve it. I'm studying for IGCSE, so I'm only interested in BrE.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can If Conditional 1 or 2 express a situation in the past?

    Quote Originally Posted by saloom2 View Post
    But would you give more details on this part?
    Start here:
    Conditional Sentences in English 1


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