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  1. Member
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    #1

    Smile difficult sentence

    dear all in these
    1)If they knew what I know...
    you would probably be dead.
    i've not understood why the meaning of would

    2)You've been living
    in a dream world, Neo.
    here i've not understand why they using the present perfect continuous
    i can't make the difference between the present perfect continuous and present prefect simple
    thank you

  2. mamen's Avatar
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    #2

    Post Re: difficult sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by adel87 View Post
    dear all in these
    1)If they knew what I know...
    you would probably be dead.
    i've not understood why the meaning of would
    (would is used in conditional statements)

    2)You've been living
    in a dream world, Neo.
    here i've not understand why they using the present perfect continuous
    i can't make the difference between the present perfect continuous and present prefect simple
    (present perfect continuous indicates something that started in the past and is still going on at present)
    thank you
    not a teacher


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 191
    #3

    Re: difficult sentence

    1)If they knew what I know...
    you would probably be dead.


    'if' indicates that this is a conditional sentence - if...then...
    'would' indicates the consequences of the imagined event or situation:

    If they knew that you had told the police, (then) you would be dead by now.
    (so, since they haven't killed him, the baddies don't know he has informed on them.)

    When the speaker uses the (Simple) Present tense, he is expressing a fact - 'you are living in a dream world". This situation is seen as beginning some time in the past (and just when, is irrelevant); the action is still on-going, and the speaker does not foresee any end to this situation. Hence, the speaker is making an observation, and doesn't expect that Neo will ever 'wake up' and see the reality (that the girl doesn't love Neo, or something).

    In using the Present Perfect Continuous, the speaker sees this state of affairs as having a beginning (for example, he met this girl and fell head over heels); that this situation continues up to the moment of speaking; and may continue briefly - but that the speaker is strongly suggesting that this situation must have an end - Neo must 'wake up' and face reality (she is not attracted to him, for example.)
    OR
    Neo has started to have doubts/realize that the girl does not return his affections, and the speaker is agreeing, saying, 'yes, you've been living in a dream world, Neo: a cheer leader is going to be interested in a sporting jock, not a geek/nerd like us'. Again, the action started, continued, BUT... the speaker now sees that the situation will have a end, Neo realizing that his crush on the girl is hopeless, and now he must get over it.
    Last edited by Excalibur; 08-Nov-2009 at 10:46.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: difficult sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by adel87 View Post
    dear all in these
    1)If they knew what I know...
    you would probably be dead.
    i've not understood why the meaning of would
    In French your sentence means "Si ils savaient ce que je sais, tu serais probablement mort"

    In French "serais" is the conditional form of the verb "Ítre" (to be), in English, verbs do not have a conditional form so we use the modal "would".

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