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Thread: Conditionals

  1. Anonymous


    I'm not sure if my teacher is correct.

    She asked us to look at several conditional sentences and we have to determine whether it is:
    a) a real possibility for the future
    b) a less likely possibility
    c) a permanent state of affairs

    1) If I had the time, I'd go on a holiday like that.
    2) Where could I go if I wanted to travel to Europe?
    3) If you want to get tickets from the club direct, you have to be in Spain.

    Is #1 (b) and #2 (b) and #3 (c)?

    Also, what kind of conditionals are they called?

    Is it true that "to talk about more improbable situations, "if" is followed by the simple past? Also, In conditional statements, does the past tense refer to past time?

    Thank you.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: Conditionals

    Of the choices available, 1&2 would fit closest to b), but it strikes me that they are more likely to be unreal presenbts- I don't have the time and I don'
    t want to go...
    1 & 2 are second conditionals and 3 is a zero conditional:

    Yes, we do use the past tense for improbable situations. Most of the time, we don't use the past tense to talk about past time, but the past perfect. However, in colloquial speech, it does get used this way and there are a few cases where we can use the past:
    If ever we were late, the teacher would go mad.
    (Here, it has a meaning similar to 'every time', so it's 'would' with the meaning of 'used to')

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