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    #1

    Do people use second condition like this?

    In English language second condition refers to things that are unlikely or impossible to be true, as in "If I were you, I would marry her." Then, I am just wondering if people would use the second condition to show that they have no faith in another person.

    Soppose there is a case of a desperate wife and her husband. The later has never succeeded in remembering his better half's birthday. Would the wife say to the husband:"If you were to remember my birthday this year, I would appreciate it." or "If you were going to present me with a birthday gift, I would be the happiest person in the world." Although the later sounds a bit wired because it looks like it's in the past future tense.

    Now in another case, there's a school boy named John Doe, who's in sixth form, and his teacher. A test has just been organized. After having the result, the teacher ruches into the classroom and announces:"You know what? The student who has the highest score in the text would be offered a free trip to India." Obviously quite excited about the annoucement, John demands to know more about it. The teacher, having tought the boy for six years, knows well John, for his lack of hardworkship, could not be the one and says:"If you had the highest score in the text, you would be offered the free trip." By doing so, the teacher expresses that he's strong about the fact that the boy has no chance.

    Do people speak like this in real life? No matter if you have or have not heared people use second condition like this, please tell me your opinion.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Do people use second condition like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    in english language second condition refers to things that are unlikely or impossible to be true, as in "if i were you, i would marry her." then, i am just wondering if people would use the second condition to show that they have no faith in another person.

    Soppose there is a case of a desperate wife and her husband. The latter has never succeeded in remembering his better half's birthday. Would the wife say to the husband:"if you were to remember my birthday this year, i would appreciate it." yes. It's rather formal, but may be appropriate in the circumstances.
    or "if you were going to present me with a birthday gift, i would be the happiest person in the world." although the later sounds a bit weird because it looks like it's in the past future tense.
    yes it sounds weird, but not for the reason you mention. Perhaps "if you presented me with a birthday gift, i would be the happiest person in the world". (this looks like the past tense, but it's subjunctive).

    now in another case, there's a school boy named john doe, who's in sixth form, and his teacher. A test has just been organized. After having the result, the teacher rushes into the classroom and announces:"you know what? The student who has the highest score in the test would be offered a free trip to india." no. "will be" works.
    obviously quite excited about the announcement, john demands to know more about it. The teacher, having taught the boy for six years, knows well that john, for his lack of hardworkship diligence, could not be the one and says:"if you had the highest score in the text, you would be offered the free trip." ok. Has the test been taken yet?
    by doing so, the teacher expresses that he's strong about the fact that the boy has no chance. no he isn't. He's saying no more than what he said in the previous sentence.

    do people speak like this in real life? No matter if you have or have not heared people use second condition like this, please tell me your opinion.
    r.

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    #3

    Re: Do people use second condition like this?

    Thanks for your kind help, Raymott.

    I'd say:"Shame on me!" I didn't realise that I had made so many spelling mistakes. I should have checked it thoroughly before I posted it.

    I've got most of your points. These's only one about which I am still not sure.

    The same initial facts as mentioned above. Now suppose the test has already been taken. After the boy required for further infomation, the teacher can say:"If you have the highest score, you will be offered the trip." Here I want to know, if the teacher doesn't like the boy because his lack of diligence and want to take the piss. Can he use the sencond condition here, since it's used for what is unlikely or impossible to happen. So, instead of saying "If you have the highest score", he chooses"If you had the highest score", as if he is saying:"Hi, John. Stop daydreaming. We know that's not gonna happen, don't we?"


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    #4

    Re: Do people use second condition like this?

    Would it be a more appropriate if the second part of the sentence is something we know will not happen? If you're going for sarcasm, the teacher might say, "John, if you were to get the highest score, I'd give you an extra week in India and pay for it myself!"

    "if you were to remember my birthday this year, i would appreciate it."

    This says to me that the husband is likely to forget the birthday, but the wife is hoping that he will remember and suggesting that he do so. That doesn't imply no faith to me, but some hope or expectation for the future. It's a little more distant and therefore suggestive than "If you would remember my birthday this year..." or "If you remember my birthday this year..." but there is not too drastic a shift in meaning.

    "If you were to give me a birthday present, I would be the happiest person in the world."

    Spoken with the right tone of sarcasm, this could convey strong lack of faith (both past and future).

    People might also say, "If you give me a birthday present, I'll be the happiest person in the world." That has more of the hope and expectation of the previous example, though, and would not be sarcastic.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Do people use second condition like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Thanks for your kind help, Raymott.

    I'd say:"Shame on me!" I didn't realise that I had made so many spelling mistakes. I should have checked it thoroughly before I posted it.

    I've got most of your points. These's only one about which I am still not sure.

    The same initial facts as mentioned above. Now suppose the test has already been taken. After the boy required for further infomation, the teacher can say:"If you have the highest score, you will be offered the trip." Here I want to know, if the teacher doesn't like the boy because his lack of diligence and want to take the piss. Can he use the sencond condition here, since it's used for what is unlikely or impossible to happen. So, instead of saying "If you have the highest score", he chooses"If you had the highest score", as if he is saying:"Hi, John. Stop daydreaming. We know that's not gonna happen, don't we?"
    As Nonsense says, your version doesn't not contain the implied criticism that you think it does.
    The teacher is unlikely to say "If you have the highest score ..." to John, since the teacher already knows what the scores are. Saying to John, "If you had the highest score, you would be going to India" simply restates the condition which the students already know about.
    If the teacher wants to point out John's laziness, he could say to the class, "John, as you would guess, will not be going to India".


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