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    • Join Date: Dec 2005
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    #1

    a grammar teacher

    That's astounding! But getting back to the personal level, if I come to your clinic, what would you advise me to do?
    If this one is a conditional sentence type one, why did the writer use "would" in the result clause? Why not "will"? Does "would" have a special meaning here?

    My mohter always said to get up and scrub the floor when I couldn't sleep.
    Was the sentence in direct speech "Get up and scrub the floor when you can't sleep." Is "can't" correct here? Do we change it because of the verb "said?"
    Thanks a lot

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    #2

    Re: a grammar teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by daisy1352 View Post
    "That's astounding! But getting back to the personal level, if I come to your clinic, what would you advise me to do?"
    If this one is a conditional sentence type one, why did the writer use "would" in the result clause? Why not "will"? Does "would" have a special meaning here?
    Deleting the irrelevancies, this would normally be expressed as either:
    "If I come to your clinic, what will you advise me to do?"
    "If I came to your clinic, what would you advise me to do?"
    They all mean pretty much the same thing; it's just expressed atypically.


    1. "My mother always said to get up and scrub the floor when I couldn't sleep."
    Was the sentence in direct speech
    No, that's reported speech. You're reporting what you mother said.
    2. "Get up and scrub the floor when you can't sleep."
    This sentence is in direct speech.

    Is "can't" correct here? Yes.

    Do we change it because of the verb "said?"
    2. is in direct speech. 1. is in reported speech. The verb "said" is only one way of using reported speech, so it's not the actual verb that makes us change the tense. For example, you couldn have written, "My mother always told me to ..." This is still reported.
    We change the verb to the past tense in a process called backformation when we're using reported speech, as in 1.

    Thanks a lot
    You need to put all your example sentences in quotes or italics. You know that they are not part of your question, but we sometimes don't.

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