Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. Unregistered
    Guest
    #1

    If clause

    Hi. I have a question regarding an if clause sentence. I would like to know if there are any differences between these sentences:

    If a murder was committed with premeditation and deliberation, it is regarded as first degree murder.

    If a murder is committed with premeditation and deliberation, it is regarded as first degree murder.

    In a paper, I wrote the first sentence since I was thinking of the murder as a past event, but according to Swan, this sentence may have a present meaning because an if clause is used. A past tense combined with certain words, such as IF,may refer to the present. What do you think? In a any case, what sentence is preferable?

    Thanks a lot!


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: If clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hi. I have a question regarding an if clause sentence. I would like to know if there are any differences between these sentences:

    If a murder was committed with premeditation and deliberation, it is regarded as first degree murder.

    If a murder is committed with premeditation and deliberation, it is regarded as first degree murder.

    In a paper, I wrote the first sentence since I was thinking of the murder as a past event, but according to Swan, this sentence may have a present meaning because an if clause is used. A past tense combined with certain words, such as IF,may refer to the present. What do you think? In a any case, what sentence is preferable?

    Thanks a lot!
    Neither is preferable, Unr, for we use language to express meaning and nuance.

    When we use the past tense with 'if' it's only the PAST TENSE FORM. This form is used as a signal to a native speaker's brain that we are viewing the situation in a range than runs from more doubtful to completely counterfactual [= opposite to the facts]

    For your examples, either works fine because the situation can be completely real/not doubtful at all and it can also be thought of as a completely theoretical event.

    You can even use 'when' for this situation.

    If a murder was committed with premeditation and deliberation, it is regarded as first degree murder.

    If a murder is committed with premeditation and deliberation, it is regarded as first degree murder.

    When a murder is committed with premeditation and deliberation, it is regarded as first degree murder.

    REAL/Not doubtful --------More doubtful---------High doubt/opposite to fact

    When -------------------If + present tense form--------If + past tense form

Similar Threads

  1. Definition of attributive clause
    By ian2 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-Jun-2007, 07:38
  2. Adverb clause : Please Help
    By suteja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 22-May-2007, 10:35
  3. relative pro...
    By nautes20 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 30-Nov-2004, 14:49
  4. We can reduce adverb clauses to adverb phrases. Why?
    By Steven D in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 23-Sep-2004, 14:42

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
  •