Conditional Clause

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Jesse Huang

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Please help me compare the following sentences, thanks. :wink:

(1) If I had studied hard, I would pass the exam now.

(2) If I had studied hard, I would have pass the exam now. (right?)

Also, the other two:

(3) If he missed the bus, he would not be here on time.

(4) If he missed the bus, he would not have been here on time.
 

MikeNewYork

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Jesse Huang said:
Please help me compare the following sentences, thanks. :wink:

(1) If I had studied hard, I would pass the exam now.

(2) If I had studied hard, I would have pass the exam now. (right?)

Also, the other two:

(3) If he missed the bus, he would not be here on time.

(4) If he missed the bus, he would not have been here on time.

Hmmm. This a hard one. The first is a mixed conditional. It has the "if" clause in the past perfect and the result clause in the present conditional. The sentence is correct. It means that there is no longer any time for study and the speaker realizes his mistake. He does not expect to pass the exam. The normal form for a second conditional would have the "if" clause in the simple past tense and the result clause in the present conditional. That would also be correct, but it would have a different meaning. "If I studied hard, I would pass the exam now" means that there is still time to study. If the speaker takkes advantage of the time, he then expects to pass the exam.

The second is a zero conditional. It has the "if" clause in the past perfect and the result clause in the past conditional. Because both clauses are in the same tense (timewise) the sentence states a general habit or an accepted truth. It is generally true that if one studies hard, one passes exams. The "now" is probably not the best word for this sentence, although it could be used if the exam has just ended.

The third is a second conditional. This is often used for hypothetical situations. There is a bus. If the person catches the bus, he will arrive on time. If he misses the bus, he will not. It is in the past tense to show that it is hypothetical.

The fourth is a mixed conditional. It uses the simple past tense in the "if" clause and the past conditional in the result clause. This one is a problem. The use of the "would not have been here on time" suggests that he did arrive on time. This is no longer hypothetical. The first clause should be in the past perfect, IMO. If he had missed the bus (action before his arrival), he would not have been here on time (his arrival occurred before the time of speaking).
 
G

googlemail

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Revisiting the conditional

Mike,

I didn't know the conditional mood/tense can be so confusing.
The confusing thing is basically trying to understand the subtle (to me at least) difference
between a possibility & hypothetical event. Correct me if I am wrong:

1) A possibility is something (in the present) that may or may not have happened.

1a) [present] The marathon runners seemed to be in great pain.

2) A hypothetical event is something that's imaginary, wishful thinking.

2a) If I were Audrey Hepburn, I would use my beauty to date as many handsome men as possible.

As for the difference between the conditional and the future tense, I hope someone can explain that to me. Thanks

G
 
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