"because" and "if he did"

Flamenco1

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  1. John should learn English because it would look good on his CV
  2. John should learn English. If he did it would look good on his CV.

I'd appreciate some help with explaining the difference in meaning. Is it emphasis, introducing doubt, ...... or maybe there is little difference?
 

jutfrank

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1) because it would look good on his CV

2) If he did, it would look good on his CV

Clause 1 gives a reason for the speaker's belief that John should learn English.
Sentence 2 expresses a condition and a result of that condition.

I'm not sure if that answers your question. Who do you want to explain this to? What's the wider context?
 

Flamenco1

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Who do you want to explain this to?

Jutfrank thank you for your reply. This was a discussion among students. We have now concluded that any difference is very subtle. And when asking non-academic English speakers we received a range of subtle differences - that were different.

I just wondered if I had missed some grammatical rule that might offer a difference, or indeed confirm there is no real difference.

In 1, to me there seems to be an inference that the major reason would relate to the CV, while 2 seems to lend itself to the idea of the CV being one of many reasons. Others suggested 2 suggested more doubt as to John learning English.

The wider context was "coordinating conjunctions" which illustrates how small group discussions can delightfully wonder.
 

jutfrank

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In 1, to me there seems to be an inference that the major reason would relate to the CV, while 2 seems to lend itself to the idea of the CV being one of many reasons.

That's right. Sentence 1 as it stands alone provides only one reason, which suggests this is the only reason (or at least the only reason worth mentioning).

Others suggested 2 suggested more doubt as to John learning English.

I think what those people are sensing is the unreal sense of the second conditional. The idea of his learning English is presented as a hypothetical.
 
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