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    #1

    verbs in hypothetical situations

    I am not sure what verbs to use in hypothetical situations. The following is my advice to my friend who thinks he and his wife can restrain his wayward son from going out.


    If you wanted, you could try to restrain your son and see his reaction. If your wife joins in, it would be tragic if he pushes her to the floor or causes her to fail. If she is able to get up, she might become violent and throw things at him. This was what I told you earlier.

    I don't think that I have used the the words in bold correctly. Could some member/s please let me know which verbs are wrongly used?

    Thanks.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: verbs in hypothetical situations

    Wanted / could are right, the rest are in the present indicative when they belong in the past, as conditions.

    (Note: the conditional is usually accompanied by a condition, and this condition itself is not put into the conditional, but the past).

    If your wife joined in, it would be tragic if he pushed her... caused.... was able...

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    #3

    Re: verbs in hypothetical situations

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Wanted / could are right, the rest are in the present indicative when they belong in the past, as conditions.

    (Note: the conditional is usually accompanied by a condition, and this condition itself is not put into the conditional, but the past).

    If your wife joined in, it would be tragic if he pushed her... caused.... was able...
    That means if I were to write about my becoming a millionaire, I would have to use all the past tense verbs. Am I right? Just a few sentences for your comment.

    If I were a millionaire, I would travel round the world. I would buy what my parents liked to eat. I would have a chauffeur to drive them around to buy any things they liked.

    I would buy my children things they enjoyed eating and books they enjoyed reading. I would hire a servant for each of my children. Every one of the servants should love children and be able to read to them.

    I would also employ a chef to cook food for my family. He would preferably love children so that he would be able to converse with them when he was free.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 21-May-2009 at 19:06.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: verbs in hypothetical situations

    You've got it.

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