View Poll Results: Which is correct?

Voters
897. This poll is closed
  • If I would eat better, I would be healthier.

    169 18.84%
  • If I ate better, I would be healthier.

    728 81.16%
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 34

Thread: Conditional

  1. #21
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    1. If I would eat better food, I would be healthier.
    2. If he would eat better food, he would be healthier.

    #1 sounds odd to me not for grammatical reasons, but because to speculate upon your own willingness to do something as if you had no say in the matter seems odd.

    #2 sounds fine to me; I would paraphrase it as "if he were willing to eat better food, he would be healthier".

    What about this one:

    3. If I would eat better food, I would be healthier? What on earth are you talking about! I eat perfectly healthy food!

    MrP

  2. #22
    riverkid is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    MrPedantic: 1. If I would eat better food, I would be healthier.
    2. If he would eat better food, he would be healthier.

    #1 sounds odd to me not for grammatical reasons, but because to speculate upon your own willingness to do something as if you had no say in the matter seems odd.

    I agree, Mr P that it is hardly the norm but why couldn't a person say this in a moment of despair? Say they had just had some serious life threatening incident and they say to the doctor or a friend;

    If I WOULD eat better food, I would be healthier, but that just ain't gonna happen.

    Or as a reply to someone who had said;

    A: If you would eat better food, you would be healthier.

    B: You're right of course; if I wooouulld eat ...




    What about this one:
    3. If I would eat better food, I would be healthier? What on earth are you talking about! I eat perfectly healthy food!

    It's fine to my mind.

  3. #23
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,618
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    In virtually all of the first person examples we are having to add further context, which wouldn't be necessary with the second or third person. Alone, it still doesn't work for me.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    Riverkid, nice to have you with me. Your examples are bang on, but it's not clear how many are convinced.

    Here are a few more comments.

    "Only" is necessary to express regret only where there's no question of obstinate refusal. Otherwise, "would/n't" achieves the function unaided, and needn't include the meaning of habit.
    In my previous post I used the term "obstinate refusal" and thought that to include in this annoyance at one's own bad habit was unproblematic. Apparently not for everybody. Could I have avoided the problem by changing O.R. to "regret" ? Not quite.
    We have "would" sentences expressing O.R. (obviously including regret), and "only" sentences expressing regret but no O.R. (the hammer sentence). But by my intuitions, even if it is somebody's fault you can't use "would" without O.R.
    "If you would have lent me the money,..." is O.K.
    but not
    'If you would have remembered to bring the hammer,..".

    Is this a problem for the poll sentence ? Maybe changing O.R. to "regret at refusal" helps a bit. Then it all comes down to whether regret at failure to give up one's own bad habit is similar enough to regret at refusal to give up one's own bad habit.
    It works for me. Grammatically and semantically sound, and we're talking about expressing a strong emotion, annoyance with yourself. If the speaker sees it this way, he can so.
    Tdol, I can't see why more context is needed for the 1st. person, but might be convinced. Can you elaborate ?

  5. #25
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,618
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    If he would eat better, he would be healthier.
    No further context required- the obstinacy/regret is implied directly by the speaker judging someone else.
    If I would stop injecting heroin five times a day, I would be healthier.
    No further context required- not an easy pattern of behaviour to change.
    If only I would eat better, I would be healthier
    Fine
    If I would eat better, I would be healthier
    That's easy- go to the shop and buy a bag of carrots and a few bananas. Yes, we can add intonation, or further context, but the original decontextualised sentence does not automtically carry the regret to me. If we add a video of an obese person in tears saying it, it will work, but looking at the words in black and white, there's nothing really there to show it, while simply adding 'only' puts the matter beyond doubt. The strong emotion would be in the tears we can't see or the intonation we cannot hear. I didn't say it was wrong, but that it did not work for me, not without additions.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like

    Thumbs down Re: Conditional

    I put the first one; what do u think about it?
    is correct or not?



  7. #27
    riverkid is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    Quote Originally Posted by Qasem View Post
    I put the first one; what do u think about it?
    is correct or not?


    Both are correct, Qasem but the normal neutral is the second on. The first is used in more emotive situations.

    =========================

  8. #28
    riverkid is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    Hello Tdol.

    I can understand that you missed the meaning, I did too at first. But context is vital to meaning. A stand alone sentence can/could mean different things to different people. The printed word is not all that great at conveying nuance.

    Which sentence below means "Leave right now" and which means "I find it awfully difficult to believe that"?

    1) Get outta here.

    2) Get outta here.

  9. #29
    csharp's Avatar
    csharp is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    51
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Conditional

    it's the unreal conditions in present time, so we use the second

  10. #30
    tungvn261 is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Thumbs down

    I think, he was still not healthy at the time he said, so we should use the Conditional Type 2. Am I right???

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. should/would(in conditional sentences)
    By bayan said in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Dec-2006, 21:21
  2. Conditional clauses
    By Andrian in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2005, 06:30
  3. conditional clause
    By critic72 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-Oct-2005, 14:25
  4. Conditional
    By hela in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 26-Sep-2005, 09:46
  5. Conditional
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21-Mar-2004, 17:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk