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    #1

    Question 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Dear friends,

    Would you please listen to the health.mp3 file below for me? I'm not sur if the teacher was saying "you could have all the money in the world, but if you're sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it" or "...but if you were sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it"

    Thank you!
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    #2

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Sorry I have no sound, but I can tell you that the second expression would be wrong. It should be "...but if you were sick all the time, you couldn't really enjoy it" or "...but if you were sick all the time, you wouldn't really be able to enjoy it".


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    #3

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Quote Originally Posted by sato View Post
    Sorry I have no sound, but I can tell you that the second expression would be wrong. It should be "...but if you were sick all the time, you couldn't really enjoy it" or "...but if you were sick all the time, you wouldn't really be able to enjoy it".
    Thank you, sato. Could you please click the health.mp3 file that was attached to my original post and try again? Because I would like to know if that's the way people usually do in speaking.

    Thank you!

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    #4

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Definitely 'you're' = 'you are'. I suppose you can find examples of 'you were' contracted to 'you're', but not very often. That would be in rapid speech.

    There is no reason why you can't use 'are' or 'can't' there. The speaker does use it, so there you have an example. He sounds American to me.

    希望你一个美好周末

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    #5

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Definitely 'you're' = 'you are'. I suppose you can find examples of 'you were' contracted to 'you're', but not very often. That would be in rapid speech.

    There is no reason why you can't use 'are' or 'can't' there. The speaker does use it, so there you have an example. He sounds American to me.

    希望你一个美好周末
    Thank you, Pedroski.
    As a student, I would like to know what 'good' English is, and how to speak correctly. I would also like to know what people, especially native English speakers, might speak English in everyday lives. I've heard people say "there's many...".
    Do you agree "if you were sick all the time, you couldn't really enjoy it" is more appropriate or more acceptable than "if you're sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it"?
    Thank you!
    也祝您有個美好的周末!

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    #6

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear friends,

    Would you please listen to the health.mp3 file below for me? I'm not sur if the teacher was saying "you could have all the money in the world, but if you're sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it" or "...but if you were sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it"

    Thank you!
    Since the latter (if you were + you can't) is not a possible combination in a hyptothetical conditional sentence, (s)he is most unlikely to be saying it, and, even if (s)he were, it would be an error!

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    #7

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    I would say, "if you were sick all the time, you couldn't really enjoy it" is very good English, correct and appropriate. However, as you can hear from your sound bite, native English speakers also say ' if you're sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it'

    Anything starting 'If ....' is hypothetical. English usage seems to be moving towards replacing the old subjunctive forms with different ones. No one can stop this. American English is already very different to British English. I have no trouble understanding American, but it does sound strange sometimes. Copy what you hear native speakers saying, and you will be ok. I try to do that here in Nanjing, Jiangning, but they speak so strangely, it's hard!!

    再见

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    #8

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    I would say,1. "if you were sick all the time, you couldn't really enjoy it" is very good English, correct and appropriate. However, as you can hear from your sound bite, native English speakers also say 2.' if you're sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it'
    Both of these uterances are natural and acceptable English, but they do not express the same idea.

    #2 suggests a real possibility
    #1 suggests a less real or unreal possibility.

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    #9

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Thank you, Pedroski.
    As a student, I would like to know what 'good' English is, and how to speak correctly. I would also like to know what people, especially native English speakers, might speak English in everyday lives. I've heard people say "there's many...".
    Do you agree "if you were sick all the time, you couldn't really enjoy it" is more appropriate or more acceptable than "if you're sick all the time, you can't really enjoy it"?
    Thank you!
    也祝您有個美好的周末!
    In this case, in terms of grammar, it has to be the first one "if you were sick all the time, you couldn't really enjoy it"
    Maybe you know, this one is second conditional type, because it's not true in the present. So as a result, using the first one is more appropriate.
    And in term of speech, I'm not a native speaker, so i don't know it's right or wrong, but i think the more accurate the grammar are, the better understanding. It's better if you do exactly the way you usually do in writing. Right? ^^

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    #10

    Re: 'if you are' or 'if you were'?

    To answer the question, 'could...are...can't'.

    b

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