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    #1

    Condition and reported speech

    Hello,

    Could someone please explain to me which conditional (if-clause) is used in the following sentence:

    She promised to help, if she could.

    Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: Condition and reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by zz3zz3 View Post
    Hello,

    Could someone please explain to me which conditional (if-clause) is used in the following sentence:

    She promised to help, if she could.

    Thanks in advance.
    In your sentence the 'if clause 'if she could' does not specify/introduce any condition. The main clause 'She promised to help' can be the result with an appropriate cause introduced by the ‘if clause’. So you could convert to II type conditional by saying;
    If she had the money, she promised to help.

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    #3

    Re: Condition and reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by zz3zz3 View Post
    Hello,

    Could someone please explain to me which conditional (if-clause) is used in the following sentence:

    She promised to help, if she could.

    Thanks in advance.
    It is a variant first conditional, since it is equivalent to saying

    She promised that she would help if she could (help).

    whose original utterance would have been

    I will help if I can.

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    #4

    Re: Condition and reported speech

    Thank you both for your answers.

    @Sarat: Doesn't if she could imply the condition if she could help (could as in be able to)?

    @Philo: So if I understand correctly, both parts of sentence She will help, if she can (first conditional) backshift the tenses to she would help, if she could because of reported speech?

    Also why is She promised to help, if she could variant correct? Is it because reporting verb promise can also have pattern verb + to infinitive and that rule of reported speech can override rules for building conditionals (if + present simple, ... will/won't for 1st conditional)?

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    #5

    Exclamation Re: Condition and reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by zz3zz3 View Post
    Thank you both for your answers.

    @Sarat: Doesn't if she could imply the condition if she could help (could as in be able to)?
    Yes, it can be but in that case the main clause will be different as explained by Plilo2009 in the subsequent post.

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    #6

    Re: Condition and reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by zz3zz3 View Post
    Thank you both for your answers.

    @Sarat: Doesn't if she could imply the condition if she could help (could as in be able to)?

    @Philo: So if I understand correctly, both parts of sentence She will help, if she can (first conditional) backshift the tenses to she would help, if she could because of reported speech?

    Also why is She promised to help, if she could variant correct? Is it because reporting verb promise can also have pattern verb + to infinitive and that rule of reported speech can override rules for building conditionals (if + present simple, ... will/won't for 1st conditional)?
    Yes, it is simply a backshifted first conditional and the construction 'promise to do' is a natural equivalent to 'promise that...will do'.

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    #7

    Re: Condition and reported speech

    Thank you!


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    #8

    Re: Condition and reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by zz3zz3 View Post
    Thank you!

    Hi Philo!Thank you!

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    #9

    Re: Condition and reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by chellamuthu View Post
    Hi Philo!Thank you!

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