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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child

    1. This "If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child" seems to denote a predictive conditional, where you are not sure if something happened or not in the past.right? Or is it a factual conditional that denotes a real fact? This has the "same form of counterfactual conditional about the present. I think "I" here means a general person, as normally it's impossible not to remember my experience, right?
    2.Does ths "will not have" mean a present state or a future one?

    st108)If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child, I might become edgy around dogs when I see them at different times in my life. My brother may have been elsewhere so he didn't experience the fear assciated with what I saw. He may not have seen it at all. My brother will not have the same response to dogs in his life as I do, because he has no experience associated with fear and dogs. Most of our beliefs are formed early in life when we have little or no reasoning. This is why we have difficulty as adults, because we don't know where the fear or uneasiness comes from. We may have blocked out the memory that caused us stress or emotional pain.
    Last edited by keannu; 09-Mar-2013 at 07:07.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    1. This "If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child" seems to denote a predictive conditional, where you are not sure if something happened or not in the past.right? Or is it a factual conditional that denotes a real fact? This has the "same form of counterfactual conditional about the present. I think "I" here means a general person, as normally it's impossible not to remember my experience, right?
    2.Does ths "will not have" mean a present state or a future one?

    st108)If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child, I might become edgy around dog when I see them at different times in my life. My brother may have been elsewhere so he didn't experience the fear assciated with what I saw. He may not have seen it at all. My brother will not have the same response to dogs in his life as I do, because he has no experience associated with fear and dogs. Most of our beliefs are formed early in life when we have little or no reasoning. This is why we have difficulty as adults, because we don't know where the fear or uneasiness comes from. We may have blocked out the memory that caused us stress or emotional pain.
    It means, "If a person is a child, and s/he sees a dog attack and panics, s/he might become edgy around dogs."
    I don't know how you want to classify that in your scheme. It's not factual about the past. It's not counterfactual in the present. It's conditional about reality at any time: If something happens at time t, something else might happen after time t, say t+.
    "Will not have" means "my brother won't be edgy around dogs at any time in his life." But since the seeing or not of the dog attack is linked in the story, the time that the brother won't be edgy around dogs corresponds to t+, even though one could postulate that he wasn't edgy before that either.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child

    I sometimes wish I had never introduced you to the idea of predictive and counterfactual conditionals, keannu. These terms were intended as a shorthand guide to some of the ways in which conditional sentences are used, a guide that is, in my opinion, more useful than the traditional 'zero, first, second, third and mixed conditional' categorisation. However, if used as a straitjacket into which to force all sentences containing 'if', it becomes as mind-numbing as any other system.

    It's more important to think what words mean than to find labels. The sentences you mention can be labelled, but not by ignoring the meaning.

    This has the "same form of counterfactual conditional about the present.
    That is why we have to think about meaning in context, not just rely on form. Compare:

    I have never seen a dog attack a child. If I saw a dog attack a child, I might become edgy around dogs in the future.
    I often saw dogs attack children. If I saw a dog attack a child, I might become edgy around dogs for a few a days, or I might simply shrug and forget it.
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Mar-2013 at 08:30.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child

    To make my point about meaning in context more strongly, I'll admit that the second of my examples in the last post was potentially ambiguous. I didn't give enough context . Try again:

    I often saw dogs attack children when I was younger. If I saw a dog attack a child then, I might become edgy around dogs for a few a days, or I might simply shrug and forget it.
    I often saw dogs attack children . If I saw a dog attack a child now , I might become edgy around dogs for a few a days, or I might simply shrug and forget it.

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child

    Your material for conditionals was quite revolutionary to us Koreans, so I'm planning to publish it in Korea as you can't never find it in any Korean English grammar book. Your summary for conditionals is the best of the best, which I couldn't realize ever in my life.
    What I was curious about in this case was if "saw" means factual or predictive as "I" usually knows past events, but I learned "I" is a general person, and "might become edgy" is not the past, but the present or timeless because of "at different times in my life." I think as you emphasized, there's not only limited numbers of conditionals, but dozens or countless numbers of conditionals.

    If I saw a dog attack and panicked as a child
    , I might become edgy around dog when I see them at different times in my life.
    Last edited by keannu; 09-Mar-2013 at 13:40.

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