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Thread: If

  1. #1
    Maybo is offline Senior Member
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    If

    If schools encourage students, they would work hard.
    If schools encouraged students, they would work hard.

    Which one is correct?
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  2. #2
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: If

    The second uses the correct sequence of tenses. Although the reader is sure to understand it as written, it doesn't make it perfectly clear that it's the students, not the schools, that will be diligent.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Re: If

    Changing "would" to "will" would fix the first sentence; however, I prefer the following:

    When schools encourage students, they work hard.

    That sentence has a different pattern from our beloved Type 1 and Type 2 conditionals.

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    Maybo is offline Senior Member
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    Re: If

    Since I sometime see people using If (present tense), (would/could), I am confused.

    E.g. If you are under change, your parents could be fined or worse yet sent to jail.
    If for no other reason than life here in Paradise without you would be even worse than it is with you.
    I think it would be a good idea if you and John are the first ones that he sees because his surroundings will seem strange to him.
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  5. #5
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    Re: If

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    Since I sometime see people using If (present tense), (would/could), I am confused.

    E.g. If you are under change, your parents could be fined or worse yet sent to jail.
    I don't know what you mean by the underlined part.

    If for no other reason than life here in Paradise without you would be even worse than it is with you.
    That's OK although it reads a little awkwardly. It would only work as the reply to a specific question or statement.

    I think it would be a good idea if you and John are were the first ones that he sees because his surroundings will seem strange to him.
    See above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    Maybo is offline Senior Member
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    Re: If

    If you allow a child to process the emotions, you may not need to do or say anything else.

    If you allowed a child to process the emotions, you might not need to do or say anything else.

    Are they correct and same?
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  7. #7
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: If

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    If you allow a child to process the emotions, you may not need to do or say anything else.

    If you allowed a child to process the emotions, you might not need to do or say anything else.

    Are they correct and same?
    Writing the emotions makes the reader wonder which specific emotions you're talking about. Did you mention some emotions in a previous sentence?

    I think you meant to write their or his or her emotions. If you want to avoid using their as a singular neuter pronoun, you can write If you allow children to process their emotions, you may not need to do or say anything else.

    The simple past in sentence 2 places the entire sentence in a different context from sentence 1. It would be OK (with "may" changed to "might") as part of a discussion about handling children in a specific situation but would not normally be natural. For example, People in the village believed in letting children resolve their own problems; if you allowed them to process their own emotions, you might not need to do or say anything else.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
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    Re: If

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    If schools encouraged students, they would work hard.
    That's not a good example of a hypothetical because this already happens! Schools do encourage students to work hard. You could make the hypothetical meaning clearer like this:

    If schools encouraged students even further, they would work harder.

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