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    #1

    The waiter asked the restaurant owner

    I have tried to use the conditional in my sentence. Would you please correct my mistakes? Is my punctuation correct?

    The waiter asked the restaurant owner why he didn't get a pay rise. He replied that he would get it, if he were kinder towards the patrons.

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    #2

    Re: The waiter asked the restaurant owner

    It should not have a comma. A careful writer wouldn't use the subjunctive because the statement is not an assertion contrary to fact. A great many native speakers are uncertain about this, though, and you'll see it either way.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: The waiter asked the restaurant owner

    GoesStation,

    Should I rephrase my second sentence like this:
    He replied that he would get it if he was kinder towards the patrons.

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    #4

    Re: The waiter asked the restaurant owner

    Yes, that's better. It would be more natural to write "... if he treated his customers better."
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: The waiter asked the restaurant owner

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    . A careful writer wouldn't use the subjunctive because the statement is not an assertion contrary to fact. A great many native speakers are uncertain about this, though, and you'll see it either way.
    The subjunctive is correct.

    You will get it if you are kinder
    ... - Future real possibility.
    You would get it if you were kinder ... - Future less real possibility.
    You would have it (now) if you were kinder ... - Present counterfactual possibility.
    You would have got it (weeks ago) if you had been kinder ... - Past counterfactual possibiilty

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