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  1. #1
    sb70012 is offline Banned
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    Default bad written conditionals

    Hi,

    Once a native English speaker told me these conditional sentences don't make much sense:

    1- " If he had played in the game, he could have beaten us more easily."
    2- " If he had played in the game, he couldn't have beaten us more easily."

    Would you please explain them to me?
    I want you to tell me that why they don't make a very good sense.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: bad written conditionals

    Neither of them make any sense to me. The second half suggests that "he" beat us even though he could have beaten us more easily. However, the first half suggests that he didn't play in the game at all. If he didn't play, he can't have beaten us. I can't think of a single context in which those could work. Something like this would work:

    "If Rooney had played in that match, Spurs could have beaten us more easily".

    However, if you apply that information to the original sentences, you get "If Rooney had played in that match, Rooney could have beaten us more easily", which makes no sense.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 14-Oct-2013 at 12:23.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    sb70012 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: bad written conditionals

    Thanks for answering emsr but I couldn't understand your explanation very well.
    This is my paraphrase:

    1- " If he had played in the game, he could have beaten us more easily."
    My paraphrase: "He didn't play in the game and if he did (played) he would beat us"

    2- " If he had played in the game, he couldn't have beaten us more easily."
    My paraphrase: "He didn't play in the game if he did (played) he wouldn't beat us"

    Why do they make sense to me but not to you?
    I think I analyzed their meanings or what they say.
    Would you please be nice enough to clarify them to me that in which part I haven't understood it very well?
    Or in which part I have not paraphrased them correctly?

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: bad written conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by sb70012 View Post
    Thanks for answering emsr but I couldn't understand your explanation very well.
    This is my paraphrase:

    1- " If he had played in the game, he could have beaten us more easily."
    My paraphrase: "He didn't play in the game and if he did (played) he would beat us"

    2- " If he had played in the game, he couldn't have beaten us more easily."
    My paraphrase: "He didn't play in the game if he did (played) he wouldn't beat us"

    Why do they make sense to me but not to you?
    I think I analyzed their meanings or what they say.
    Would you please be nice enough to clarify them to me that in which part I haven't understood it very well?
    Or in which part I have not paraphrased them correctly?
    The first one makes no sense because it starts with "If he had played in the game" which means he didn't play. If he didn't play, how could he "beat us more easily"? "More easily" than what?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
    sb70012 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: bad written conditionals

    What if we omit "more easily"?
    Can it make sense then?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: bad written conditionals

    It makes more sense that way!

    If he had played, he could have beaten us. (He didn't play.)
    If he had played better, he could have beaten us. (He did play and he lost.)
    If he had played better, he could have beaten us more easily. (He did play and he won.)
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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