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I read below in Oxford English Grammar Course, Micheal Swan & Catherine Walter:

He won't come tomorrow if he came yesterday.

I'd like to know more explanation about this. What type of conditional is it? And, I've never seen "future tense" and "past tense in "if sentence".

Thank you.

  • It's just an ordinary conditional proposition, although with one negative term, in the form of "if A then not B," inverted to "not B if A." The future and past are irrelevant to the form of the conditional, but properly handled. – Robusto Oct 4 '17 at 9:49
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He won't come tomorrow if he came yesterday.

If he came yesterday, he won't come tomorrow.

This form of if can be semantically equivalent to "since" or "given (the fact)":

He won't come tomorrow, since he came yesterday.

Since he came yesterday, he won't come tomorrow.

(For example, he has already made his weekly visit.)

There's no reason to expect him to come again tomorrow, given the fact that he was here yesterday.

Given the fact that he was here yesterday, there's no reason to expect him to come again tomorrow.

But the factualness of the condition need not be known:

If the train broke down a mile south of us, it won't be arriving on time.

There, the future tense won't refers to what will not take place if it turns out to be true that the train did break down.

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    Hmm ... if is equivalent to since only if it is known that he came yesterday. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 4 '17 at 10:22
  • I saw him with my own eyes. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 4 '17 at 10:24

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