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    • Join Date: Aug 2005
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    #1

    Conditionals - open topic - more questions will be added.

    Hello there,

    I have some doubts about conditionals...

    1/ For us to have given up at that stage would have been an admission of total defeat.

    according to the key, it transforms into : If had given up at that stage...

    I don't understand why it transforms into the 3rd conditional! If the third conditional deals with unreal conditions - past reference, why is "present perfect sentence" transformed into something which deals with the past ?!

    2/ Had you not been for your laziness, you could have finished the work BY NOW.

    Why is here (there ?) "by now" used if the sentence referes to the past and should have nothing to do with the present time ?

    3/ What's the difference in meaning between :

    I would like you to tell me... VS I would like you told me... (I guess the second one is wrong)

    4/ In the sentence "He wouldn't have come unless you had invited him" - does this sentence imply that "he" is still there or maybe it refers to the past, and he was there, he simply came?

    5/ Difference : If only you had listened to me, you wouldn't be in such a situation VS If only you listened to me you wouldn't be in such a situation.

    6/ Difference : If I knew the answer I would tell you VS If I had known the answer I would have told you VS If I had known the answer I would tell you.

    7/ Can I say : I won't tell you UNLESS you promise to keep it to yourself.

    8/ Does this sentence "Were it not for the fact that his father is on the board of directors, he wouldn't get this job" imply that he actually got it??? I thought that the 2nd conditional is more about hypothetical things not about facts which take place in the present time...

    There will be more... but, could someone explain me please all of the above?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: Conditionals - open topic - more questions will be added.

    The to-infintive expresses an unactualized event:

    1/ For us to have given up at that stage ... (but we didn't give up)
    T/ If we had given up at that stage ... (but we didn't give up.)


    Conditional: You could have finished yesterday or by now or even by tomorrow (but you didn't finish yesterday or by now. Maybe you'll finish it by tomorrow.)

    2/ Had [it] not been for your laziness, you could have finished the work BY NOW.


    3/ I would like you told me... (ungrammatical)

    4/ In the sentence "He wouldn't have come unless you had invited him"
    (He was there)

    5/ If only you had listened to me, you wouldn't be in such a situation
    If only you'd listened to me you wouldn't be in such a situation.

    6/ If I knew the answer I would tell you. <present>
    If I had known the answer I would have told you. <past>
    If I had known the answer I would tell you.

    7/ I won't tell you UNLESS (that is) you promise to keep it to yourself.

    8/ Were it not for the fact that his father is on the board of directors, he wouldn't get this job. ("get" is present, not past; he doesn't have the job yet, but there's some indication that he may just get it.)


    • Join Date: Aug 2005
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    #3

    Re: Conditionals - open topic - more questions will be added.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    The to-infintive expresses an unactualized event:
    1/ For us to have given up at that stage ... (but we didn't give up)
    T/ If we had given up at that stage ... (but we didn't give up.)
    I don't know what you mean... I don't know what you mean by saying "unactualized event"... Could you elaborate on your explanation? And, I still don't know how it is possible to use the 3rd conditional to talk about sentence which uses a present tense...
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Conditional: You could have finished yesterday or by now or even by tomorrow (but you didn't finish yesterday or by now. Maybe you'll finish it by tomorrow.)
    Does this explanation refer to the question no. 2 ? 2/ "Had [it] not been for your laziness, you could have finished the work BY NOW." If so, I still cannot imagine how it's possible to have "by now" (which, to me, clearly referse to the present time) in a sentence which is constructed like the 3rd conditional (which refers to UNREAL PAST not PRESENT)
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    4/ In the sentence "He wouldn't have come unless you had invited him"
    (He was there)
    What do you mean exactly? Could you present a proper context in which such a sentence could occur?
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    5/ If only you had listened to me, you wouldn't be in such a situation
    If only you'd listened to me you wouldn't be in such a situation.
    I wanted to know the difference... You simply corected the sentence... now they are the same...
    thanks in advance...
    Last edited by forum_mail; 05-Jun-2006 at 18:50.

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