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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
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    #1

    Conditionals - Advanced

    Hi all, can anybody help me with this?

    "If you're unfit, you ........... (stand) a huge chance of injuring yourself in the gym."

    Why is the (natural) answer "stand" as opposed to "will stand" ?


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #2

    Re: Conditionals - Advanced

    Quote Originally Posted by colibrita View Post
    Hi all, can anybody help me with this?

    "If you're unfit, you ........... (stand) a huge chance of injuring yourself in the gym."

    Why is the (natural) answer "stand" as opposed to "will stand" ?
    We tend not to use 'will' in such cases, Colibrita. A possible reason is that these types of conditionals do not discuss one instance which is what 'will' normally describes.

    "if you're unfit" is not about one person in one instance. It's stating a general condition; when the condition exists where people are unfit, these people have an excellent chance of hurting themselves. The present simple form is usually used to describe this general condition.

    Also, I'll suggest that there is a semantic difference at play here. For this situation, 'will' does not equate to "a huge chance". That would be described by "very likely will".

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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    #3

    Re: Conditionals - Advanced

    Quote Originally Posted by colibrita View Post
    Hi all, can anybody help me with this?

    "If you're unfit, you ........... (stand) a huge chance of injuring yourself in the gym."

    Why is the (natural) answer "stand" as opposed to "will stand" ?
    I'm not sure I would agree that "will stand" is unnatural here; though it would probably be less usual, with this particular example.

    With the simple present "stand", it seems to me, the speaker presents the statement in the main clause as a fact (the corollary of the if-clause).

    With "will stand", on the other hand, he would have presented the statement in the main clause as a prediction (the consequence of the if-clause).

    I would attribute the "less usual" nature of the "will" version in this instance to the fact that "being unfit" describes a state, rather than an action.

    Where the if-clause presents a general condition (to borrow Riverkid's phrase), it's likely that the main clause will present a corresponding general condition, or recurrent event; and the simple present tense is used to express such things.

    All the best,

    MrP


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #4

    Re: Conditionals - Advanced

    I agree with Mr P's assessment. He has pointed out/He pointed out things which I missed.

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