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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    differece between real and unreal future conditionals

    what is the difference between the following two sentences?

    If an earthquake happens, I will hide in a bunker.
    If an earthquake happened, I would hide in a bunker.

    Many grammer websites explain, the second is for an unlikely situation, but many native speakers say this form even for real situations like
    "I would be tired if I went to a mental clinic"
    "If you went to America, you would see the stutue of liberty"...

    Do they actually lay little difference between the two or no?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: differece between real and unreal future conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    If an earthquake happens, I will hide in a bunker.
    1.If an earthquake happened, I would hide in a bunker.

    Many grammear websites explain that the second is for an unlikely situation, but many native speakers say this form even for real situations like
    2. "I would be tired if I went to a mental clinic"
    3."If you went to America, you would see the sStuatue of lLiberty"...
    The second conditional is used for an unlikely/less likely future possibility or a counterfactual present situation. Context makes it clear which is meant.

    Examples #1, #2 and #3 are all unlikely/less likely future situations. #4 (below) is a counterfactual present situation:

    4. I would be unhappy if I were in a psychiatric hospital now.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: differece between real and unreal future conditionals

    Thanks a lot for your answer, but I've heard of lots of possible, feasible, and real situations using conditional2, such as
    "If you went to the street, you would see the sign"-going to the place can be very casual, not a difficult thing.

    "I actually have plans for Tuesday, but I'd be interested in meeting another time this week" - This is from my canadian friend.
    He said it when I postponed out meeting, but meeting another time in that week was not that unlikely, it could have been possible, not like to win lottery.

    and the following is from wikipedia extract for the definition of future conditional 2,
    and it says the difference between conditional1 and conditional2 is slight, so it seems to say the two are sometimes interchangeable.I need your clear answer again as I'm always confused about this.

    =================================================
    In many cases, when referring to future events, the difference between a realis and irrealis conditional is very slight:
    (realis) If you leave now, you can still catch your train.
    (irrealis) If you left now, you could still catch your train.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: differece between real and unreal future conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Thanks a lot for your answer, but I've heard of lots of possible, feasible, and real situations using conditional2, such as
    "If you went to the street, you would see the sign"-going to the place can be very casual, not a difficult thing.

    When we use a second conditional construction, we view the situation in our minds as less likely than if we use a first conditional construction. Whether it's difficult or not is irrelevant.

    and the following is from wikipedia extract for the definition of future conditional 2, and it says the difference between conditional1 and conditional2 is slight, so it seems to say the two are sometimes interchangeable.I need your clear answer again as I'm always confused about this.

    There are many situations in which the choice between a first and second conditional construction is made at the moment of speaking. They are interchangeable in that both are grammatically correct, but the second conditional always makes the situation less likely in the speaker's mind than the first.

    If we are talking about a situation that we know doe not exist, then the first conditional is not possible: 'If I were Prime Minister now, I would solve all our economic problems'.

    =================================================
    In many cases, when referring to future events, the difference between a realis and irrealis conditional is very slight:
    (realis) If you leave now, you can still catch your train.
    (irrealis) If you left now, you could still catch your train.
    In individual utterances, the difference may be slight, but a second conditional construction is always perceived as less likely (in the speaker's mind) than a first conditional.
    5

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: differece between real and unreal future conditionals

    Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

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    #6

    Re: differece between real and unreal future conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    and the following is from wikipedia
    Can you give the link to this wiki?
    I cannot find it as well as understand what you are referring to as conditional1 and conditional2

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