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  1. Unregistered
    Guest
    #1

    understand if clause

    Situation:
    My friend can't speak English.

    Which one should I use? past tense or present tense
    If it's past tense, that would make the situation unreal but there is a possiblilty that she can learn English. The unreal past tense clause is only for unreal situation that can come true right? Such as If I went to Mars...

    If my friend understands English, then I don't have to translate.
    If my friend understood English, then I don't have to translate.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: understand if clause

    [1] If my friend understands English, then I don't/won't have to translate.

    Meaning: My friend doesn't understand English, so I have to translate for her/him, but if s/he learned English, she would understand it and I wouldn't have to translate for her/him.

    [1] If my friend understood English, then I don't have to translate.

    Try,
    If my friend understood English, then I wouldn't have to translate, (meaning: but she doesn't understand English, so I do have to translate.)
    Does that help?

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