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    #1

    Wink Conditional Sentence

    Hi!
    Please help me with this:

    Martha said that Paul called Nick a jerk at the party. I don't believe that! Paul is polite and well mannered. He (say, never) anything rude or insulting like that.

    1. would never say, or

    2. would have never said

    I have found this exercise on one site, but none of the two answers were shown as correct... I would definitely put the second type of conditional sentences.. Is there a third option?

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    #2

    Re: Conditional Sentence

    Hello Branka,

    It was funny to me to see you posting a question very similar to questions I lately posted here. I believe that it is about the nature of serbian language that similar problems about modality arise from. I wonder the same , and I'm not sure what is the right answer nor am I in most other cases when "would have" is not used in clearly past situations but rather indicate future posibility.And I'm joining in asking the same question . Look up for the teacher's answers to my posts here,I'm certain that it will help you as much as it has helped me in becoming more familiar with modals in general.

    As to your question,"would" is correct for sure and you wouldn't have to worry if you chose it as an answer. "Could" sounds good to me as well. As to "would have" I'm not sure.

    Best regards (addressing you in english is a 'must" so dont find a fault with it)
    Last edited by velimir; 08-Nov-2007 at 15:06.

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    #3

    Re: Conditional Sentence

    Hello again Branka,

    I've taken the test also, and I've got to tell you,that hint thing is just what I need when filling out tests .You've placed "never" in a wrong slot ,it goes between the modal and verb phrase,i.e

    She would never have said that.

    I've gotten the correct result for that sentence although I don't know why it is not acceptable to say the first one too. I suppose that those and similar are just not the situations in which it would sound natural when translated literaly in serbian. On the other hand in "third conditional" sentences it fit well and sounds nice to the ear, what do you say?

    Best regards

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    #4

    Re: Conditional Sentence

    Dear Branka and Velimir,

    I hope I'm able to afford a little time to share in this topic and work a change in your thought.

    I think that the mentioned below example is very close to yours, especially the construction would never have -Past. Part.

    "Why didn't you agree to stage that sketch with us? We needed your help so much."
    "I would never have refused, if I had been able to, but I couldn't, I was ill."

    There is a subtle difference, isn't there? In your case the truth is that your Paul is impolite. If Paul were polite, he wouldn't call Nick jerk. Frankly speaking the moment I see the construction would have + Past. Part. I automatically begin to think about something that is contrary-to-fact in the past.

    For your better understanding I would supplement yet a few examples:

    If I have enough money I will buy a ticket.
    If I have enough money I can buy a ticket.

    Situation-true in the present/future
    if clause present
    result clause - will / can + simple form

    If I had enough money I would buy a ticket.
    If I had enough money I could buy a ticket.

    Situation- contrary to fact in the present/future
    if clause - simple past
    result clause - would / could + simple form

    If I had had enough money, I would have bought a ticket.
    If I had had enough money, I could have bought a ticket.

    Situation - contrary to fact in the past
    if clause - past perfect
    result clause - would have/could have + Past part.

    Excuse me, but I have got to say my opinion.

    V.

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    #5

    Re: Conditional Sentence

    Thanks Vil for an elaborate answer. The main problem, I have to emphasize though, is not the usage of 'would have' in conditional sentences,or is not in most cases. When using "would have" in situations which doesn't contain condition or it is not clearly implied the problem arises. I believe that the root of the problem often is in our language, that is, some usages of modals doesn't coincide with some typical usages of modals in serbian. So, I can learn it as it is ,without trying to match it with logic of my mother language.

    Thanks again

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