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  1. fabio409's Avatar
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    #1

    (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Hi,

    "On a typical day in UK, three people will die and nearly 200 people will be admitted to hospital because of asthma attack." (BBC's Inside Health Programme)

    It seems to me that Future Simple tense is used in the sentence above to convey the idea of a hypothesis: there is evidence that these numbers given by statistics are going to repeat in the future. If I'm not wrong, is it been used in Subjunctive Mood? I couldn't find anything about this very common use in the grammars I have. The Future Tense in Subjunctive Mood is shown in the form "should/would + Infinitive".

    By the way, does "hypotheses" start with a consonant sound? Grammarly app suggested me use "a hypothesis". Is it correct?

    Thank you!





    Last edited by fabio409; 12-Aug-2016 at 18:00.

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    #2

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Your first understanding is correct: the writer used the future simple to convey the idea of a hypothesis. Note that the names of tenses and moods are not proper nouns.

    Both "hypothesis" and "hypotheses" begin with a consonant sound in most English accents. The last syllable of the plural rhymes with ​ease.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. fabio409's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Thank you, GoesStation.

    Then we have the future simple tense used in the subjunctive mood in this case, right?

    Like in these examples: "Perhaps he'll go." and "Maybe she'll accept the job.", in which adverbs do the job of conveying the idea of a hypothesis.

    My doubt is actually more related to the application of the concept of "mood" to this sentence.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Both "hypothesis" and "hypotheses" begin with a consonant sound in most English accents.
    So do all words starting with 'hypo' or 'hyper', I believe.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Quote Originally Posted by fabio409 View Post
    Hi,

    "On a typical day in UK, three people will die and nearly 200 people will be admitted to hospital because of asthma attack."
    The forms I have underlined are neither 'future simple' nor subjunctive mood. The modal 'will' is used here, as it often is, to express certainty.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    And this would imply that if three people do not die, and about 200 are not hospitalised, then that day is not typical. Any uncertainty is expressed not in how many people will die, but in whether the day is typical or not.

  6. fabio409's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Thank you, teachers Piscean and Raymott.


    First, let me say you’re great, as well as some other teachers and members of this excellent forum whose answers I usually like (clicking on the "like" button).



    I hope I’ll be able to explain my point of view, respectfully and slightly different from yours.




    “A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. (...)
    A different meaning of the term hypothesis is used in formal logic, to denote the antecedent of a proposition; thus in the proposition "If P, then Q", P denotes the hypothesis (or antecedent); Q can be called a consequent. P is the assumption in a (possibly counterfactual) What If question.”
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis

    I think the sentence we’re analysing could be read this way:

    What if three people die and nearly 200 people are hospitalized?
    [ hypothesis (P), or possibility that may become real or not in the future ]


    Then the day is typical.
    [ consequent (Q), assumption we certainly make, according to a convention, only if the hypothesis come true: if not, we doesn’t make any assumption ou make a different one. ]

    Rewriting the sentence with conditions clauses:


    “If three people will die and 200 people will be hospitalized on a day, we’ll consider it typical.”

    It's not possible to make a prediction that three people will die and that 200 people will be hospitalized on a day in the future, or say this is a strong possibility, even if these numbers reflect the current statistics. Maybe the circumstances change and this numbers will never repeat. One could guess three people will die of asthma in UK on day in the future, considering the statistics, but not make a “prediction” of this type. [ Note: I’m not sure of it, but I think that to make this guess based on some evidence we would have to use the “be going to + infinitive” verb form. ]


    That’s why I think that this future verb form is not being used in this type of structure to convey idea of strong possibility or prediction, as it often does, but -- in this very specific type of construction --, to convey the idea of an hypothesis that functions as a subordinate clause (an implicit one, in the given sentence).


    Take this example, which I’ve seen in a grammar:


    “If the Lattins will drive me to the airport, I’ll be able to leave later.”

    The speaker doesn’t have any clue whether the Lattins will drive they to the airport or not. It’s a mere possibility and they don’t even knows whether it’s a strong or a weak one.

    Searching for “condition clauses” on Wikipedia, I’ve found the following interesting comments that converge to my point of view. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything about this specific topic in the grammars I have, but the explanation seems very logic:


    “As noted above regarding the first conditional, will (or shall) is not normally used to mark future time reference in a condition clause; instead an ordinary present tense is used:


    If she wins (not: will win) tomorrow, I'll eat my hat.


    However, there are certain situations where will can appear in a condition clause. One type of situation is referred to above under zero conditional, here will expresses futurity, but the sentence as a whole expresses factual implication rather than a potential future circumstance:


    ‘If aspirins will cure it, I'll take a couple tonight’ (the taking is not a consequence of the curing, but a consequence of the expectation that they will cure).


    More commonly, will appears in condition clauses where it has a modal meaning, rather than marking the future. (See uses of will.) Relevant meanings include willingness, persistence, or strong disapproval:


    If you will excuse me, I think I will slip into something more comfortable. (willingness)

    If you will keep all the windows shut, of course you'll get headaches. (persistence)

    A: The zookeeper was really annoyed with me.
    B: Well, if you will throw stones at the animals, it's not surprising! (strong disapproval)”

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englis...dition_clauses


    I’d like to understand what does “sometimes used to inclued mood” mean in this excerpt of Oxford English Grammar (1996):


    “Modalty, which is sometimes used to include mood, is a semantic category that deals with two types of judgements: (1) those referring to the factuality of what is said (its certainly, probability, or possibility); (2) those referring to human control over the situation (ability, permission, intention, obligation).”


    I think that maybe this relationship between mood and modalty is the central question to be resolved here.


    I've temporarily concluded, at last until I find this topic explained in another good grammar, that English is one of the languages in which a modal/auxiliary verb "will" (indicative mood – utterances presented as facts) is used to convey the idea of a hypothesis (atencedent, P) that "may" (modal verb used in utterances presented as doubtful) become true.


    I'll appreciate every corrections or different points of view. My aim is to learn with you and I'm sure you'll agree that the process of learning and teaching pressuposes an open and frank exchange of ideias.
    Last edited by fabio409; 14-Aug-2016 at 16:50.

  7. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Quote Originally Posted by fabio409 View Post
    I think the sentence we’re analysing could be read this way:

    What if three people die and nearly 200 people are hospitalized?
    [ hypothesis (P), or possibility that may become real or not in the future ]

    Then the day is typical.
    [ consequent (Q), assumption we certainly make, according to a convention, only if the hypothesis come true: if not, we doesn’t make any assumption you make a different one. ]

    Rewriting the sentence with conditions clauses:

    “If three people will die and 200 people will be hospitalized on a day, we’ll consider it typical.”
    I see no justification at all for this transformation.

    Incidentally, the forms I have underlined are unnatural. The present simple is required.

    “If the Lattins will drive me to the airport, I’ll be able to leave later.”
    Will here means 'are willing to'. This is a simple conditional sentence about a possible future situation.

    I've temporarily concluded, at last until I find this topic explained in another good grammar, that English is one of the languages in which a modal/auxiliary verb "will" (indicative mood – utterances presented as facts) is used to convey the idea of a hypothesis (atencedent, P) that "may" (modal verb used in utterances presented as doubtful) become true.
    I see no reason at all to think that the use of will​ involves an unstated antecedent,

  8. fabio409's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: (...) three people will die and nearly 200 people will be (...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I see no justification at all for this transformation.

    Incidentally, the forms I have underlined are unnatural. The present simple is required.
    I see no reason at all to think that the use of will​ involves an unstated antecedent,
    If the sentence is wrong -- not surprisingly, since journalists make mistakes --, we can't learn anything from it. In this case, I'd see no reason as well.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by fabio409; 14-Aug-2016 at 19:08.

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