Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 5,571
    #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.

  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,365
    #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.

  3. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 5,571
    #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.

  4. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,365
    #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.

  5. Piscean's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 13,478
    #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

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-Sep-2014, 11:41
  2. An waiter/A waiter
    By matf9999 in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-Sep-2012, 16:08
  3. [Vocabulary] waiter service restaurant
    By pepycute in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 23-May-2010, 15:47
  4. [Grammar] Unit owner/Comparted owner
    By Snappy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2010, 20:26
  5. The longest waiter to work here?
    By sambistapt in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 14-May-2008, 03:53

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •