[Grammar] Conditional sentence order

Karam1

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Hello,
I have a question regarding a conditional sentence. The sentence:

( If you put a coin in water, it sinks. )

can we order it this way? Only using the same words.

1- If you put in water a coin, it sinks.
2- A coin sinks if you put it in water.
2- It sinks if you put a coin in water.
3- A coin sinks in water if you put it. ( without adding in)

Are they correct?

Thank you
 

Rover_KE

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Only #2 is natural.
 

GoesStation

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How about a far second when compared to the other two? (The nit-picking here tends to be amusing; or do we mindlessly follow the pecking order?)

Here's the proposed sentence: A coin sinks in water if you put it. There's nothing to nitpick here: that's just not a grammatical English sentence.

[EDIT] I just noticed that I reported the sentence labeled "3". It's actually the fourth sentence in the query.
 

emsr2d2

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1 - If you put in water a coin, it sinks.
2 - A coin sinks if you put it in water.
3 - It sinks if you put a coin in water.
4 - A coin sinks in water if you put it. ( without adding in)

I have renumbered them above. For me, only 2 is natural.
 

GoesStation

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Number 1 is OK. A lot of my conditional sentences begin life in that form. Number 2 is an improvement, and is the style I aim for.
 

Karam1

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Thank you all for your feedback and I apologize for mixing up the numbers.


1- If you put in water a coin, it sinks. I'm Not sure
2- A coin sinks if you put it in water. Correct
3- It sinks if you put a coin in water. Ungrammatical
4- A coin sinks in water if you put it. Ungrammatical

Actually I'm interested since the 4 sentences can be heard in my mother language, colloquial Arabic. I'm still confused about number 1
 

Barb_D

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Thank you all for your feedback and I apologize for mixing up the numbers.


1- If you put in water a coin, it sinks. I'm Not sure
I'm still confused about number 1

The order "put in water a coin" is VERY unnatural.
 

GoesStation

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1- If you put in water a coin, it sinks.
2- A coin sinks if you put it in water.
2- It sinks if you put a coin in water.
3- A coin sinks in water if you put it. ( without adding in)

By whose authority? Please quote the source for "is correct".

Robert, I've quoted the original post in this thread above. The person who posted it wanted to know which sentence was "correct". Of the four sentences posted, only the second would be uttered by any native speaker of English. The others are, for the purposes of the learner, incorrect.
 

Karam1

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By whose authority? Please quote the source for "is correct".

It should be obvious to the most casual observer that sounding "natural" is totally subjective (emphasis on the 'totally'). There are parts of inner cities in the US where "I dindu nuffin" sounds perfectly natural to the inhabitants. There is also the issue of Ebonics which a large section of the population feels is very natural and considers it a secondary English language. Perhaps it would be advantageous to conceal this attitude of superiority.

Fine, but in examinations that learners here are likely to want to take (and pass!), that utterance will lead to loss of marks. Unless learners specifically declare an interest in certain varieties/dialects, we generally use the words 'correct' and 'natural' of expressions which are generally regarded as reasonably standard in mainstream American, Antipodean and British English. Perhaps the important word there is 'secondary'. A knowledge of Ebonics is unlikely to be of any value to most learners of EFL/ESLThere is no 'attitude of superiority'. As a teacher of EFL/ESL, I have always considered it as one of my duties/responsibilities to help my learners acquire an ability to communicate effectively in English. I guide them away from forms of English that may stand in the way of success in examinations, negotiations, job interviews, etc.

I think I can decide which sentence is correct when it comes to semantics and grammar. But What about sentences that might be semantically or grammatically incorrect but sound natural/ok and people use in everyday language?
Let's forget Number 4 as it can't be correct and focus on these

1- If you put in water a coin, it sinks.
2- A coin sinks if you put it in water.
3- It sinks if you put a coin in water.

Sorry for the confusion but you are the only one who can offer help.
 

emsr2d2

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I think I can decide which sentence is correct when it comes to semantics and grammar but ​what about sentences that might be semantically or grammatically incorrect but sound natural/[STRIKE]ok[/STRIKE] okay/OK and people use in everyday language?
Let's forget number 4 as it can't be correct and focus on these:

1- If you put in water a coin, it sinks.
2- A coin sinks if you put it in water.
3- It sinks if you put a coin in water.

Sorry for the confusion but you are the only ones who can offer help.

Only #2 would be used by a native speaker in everyday language.
 
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