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Thread: conditionals

  1. ShadeWe's Avatar
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    #1

    Unhappy conditionals

    How many of them?

    Every book I read says me that there are only three of them (or 4). For example, these books says that I shouldn't use future simple in "if-clause" in first conditional, but I came across the sentence with future simple in "if-clause" yesterday. I'd like to know all the combinations of tenses in ALL conditionals. More precisely, I want to know all the features. Probably some of combinations are used in formal speech? Can you explain me this, or give me the link where it's said about this? Thanks a lot in advance.




    I'm sorry if there're mistakes in the text. I'd be glad if you correct 'em.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadeWe View Post
    Every book I read says me that there are only three of them (or 4).
    Traditionally, up to five patterns (first second, third, mixed and zero) have often been presented.
    For example, these books says that I shouldn't use future simple in "if-clause" in first conditional,
    This is unfortunately, an over-simplification.

    I have given my views on conditionals in a series of articles beginning here. A more traditional approach can be found in a series of articles beginning here.

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    #3

    Re: conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadeWe View Post
    How many of them?

    Every book I read says tells me that there are only three of them (or 4). For example, these books says say that I shouldn't use the future simple in an "if-clause" in the first conditional, but I came across the ​a sentence with the future simple in an "if-clause" yesterday. I'd like to know all the combinations of tenses in ALL conditionals. More precisely, I want to know all the features. Probably some of combinations are used in formal speech? Can you explain me this to me, or give me the a link where it's said about this explained? Thanks a lot in advance. (Just click 'Thank' when you get a useful answer.)

    I'm sorry if there are mistakes in the text. I'd be glad if you'd correct them.
    Ask us again if you have any specific questions, ShadeWe.

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    #4

    Re: conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadeWe View Post
    Probably some of combinations are used in formal speech?
    There are probably some combinations used in formal speech?

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: conditionals

    There shouldn't be a question mark at the end of either sentence in the previous post.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There shouldn't be a question mark at the end of either sentence in the previous post.
    I firmly disagree. The function of a question mark is to show that what you're writing is meant to be a question. Speech has the benefit of intonation whereas writing relies on punctuation.

    If you disagree, please explain your reasons.

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    #7

    Re: conditionals

    My justification is simply that on this forum we discourage learners from using "statement" constructions when actually they want to ask a question. People do, of course, use intonation in spoken English to indicate that what they just said was meant to be a question but, here, we tend to recommend that it's only written that way when directly quoting the spoken version.

    I would have corrected the original to either "I think there are probably some combinations used in formal speech. Am I right?" or "Are there some combinations used in formal speech?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: conditionals

    There are probably some combinations used in formal speech?

    Apart from the general point ems made in her last post, with which I agree, I do not find the question above very natural in writing or in speech, particularly in the context of everything ShadeWe wrote in the first post. It is, I agree, not incorrect, but it is not something I feel many native speakers would write, or even say.

    One grave disadvantage of writing questions in that way for all but the shortest of statements, is that the reader does not discover the question mark until the end of the sentence. This causes a rather abrupt re-think, one very good reason not to use this way of forming questions in writing. It's also not a very good way for learners to use in speech unless they have mastered the subtleties of intonation.

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    #9

    Re: conditionals

    Online forums are an odd mix of spoken and written style. Here on Using English we have a responsibility to model all kinds language carefully to our users. This is not such a straightforward task given that a) the learners here represent a very wide range of abilities; b) we are replying to hundreds of users in our posts, not just addressing the original poster; and c) many learners will not be fully aware that we tend towards favouring a more formal written style than most other web forums.

    In view of this, I suppose it is inevitable that members here will disagree on the right level of prescription to take when advising and correcting learners, and the right amount of detail and authenticity to give when modelling.

    Although it's perhaps misleading to say that "There shouldn't be a question mark at the end of either sentence in the previous post", I agree with the reasons you give for correcting ShadeWe's question to "I think there are probably some combinations used in formal speech. Am I right?"

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    #10

    Re: conditionals

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadeWe View Post
    but I came across the sentence with future simple in "if-clause" yesterday.
    That can be used when trying to negotiate something- it equalises things:

    If you will join us, I will get the approval.

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