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  1. #1
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    Default If I have/had a car, I will/would drive to Italy.

    If I have a car, I will drive to Italy.

    If I had a car, I would drive to Italy.

    Could you explain the difference? Thanks!

    :)

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: If I have/had a car, I will/would drive to Italy.

    Quote Originally Posted by tianshan
    If I have a car, I will drive to Italy.

    If I had a car, I would drive to Italy.

    Could you explain the difference? Thanks!

    :)
    In the first, you haven't got a car now, but you do have a chance of getting one by the time you're supposed to go to Italy.

    In the second one, you could mean two things- firstly, that you can't go to Italy now because you don't have a car. The second possibility is that there is little chance of your having a car when the trip to Italy is supposed to take place. :D

  3. #3
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: If I have/had a car, I will/would drive to Italy.

    Quote Originally Posted by tianshan
    If I have a car, I will drive to Italy.

    If I had a car, I would drive to Italy.

    Could you explain the difference? Thanks!

    :)
    The first sentence is the first conditional. It uses present tense in the "if" clause and future tense in the result clause. It deals with a concrete reality. The only thing that is preventing the speaker from driving to Italy is the current lack of a car. If the car is provided, the trip will happen.

    The second sentence is the second conditional. We use the second conditional for hypothetical events. It is very similar in meaning to the first, but the speaker views the possibility of having a car to be less certain and more speculative. The second conditional uses the past tense in the "if" clause and the present conditional in the result clause (would).

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