"If you drank a bottle of vodka yesterday, you should be feeling sick today". (Note: Person saying this has no idea what exactly happened yesterday).

Question No 1: Is this sentence grammatically correct?

Question No 2: Is this Conditional? If yes, which one? If no, which structure is it then?

  • 1
    Yes, and yes. And native English speakers don't normally classify conditionals into the handful of types that are frequently used by non-English speakers to describe this part of English grammar. (In theory, there are hundreds of types of conditionals; in practice, no such classifications are made.) Apr 22, 2020 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


It's a grammatical correct sentence, but it is rather odd. What does "should" mean in this context.

We can use conditionals like this to give advice

If you cut your finger, you should wash it in clean water.

(present perfect "If you've cut..." would work here too.

But the meaning of your sentence doesn't seem to give advice. There are other meanings of "should". I think the intended meaning is "will be likely to"

If you press the button, the computer should start.

If you pressed the button, the computer should have started.

But it is hard to understand that in the context of the original sentence. Because this requires a tense change.

You sentence could be understood as holding an hidden implication "If you drank a bottle of vodka, you "will be likely to" be feeling sick" (but since you aren't feeling sick this implies that you didn't drink a bottle of vodka") This interpretation is possible, but it certainly isn't obvious or natural.

So your sentence is not grammatically incorrect, but the implied meaning is "ought to" (which is nonsense) or "will be likely to" (in which case the wrong tense is being used). It is not a well-written sentence.

  • 3
    To me, the should sounds reasonable. It seems to imply that the person did drink the vodka but for some reason is not feeling bad, despite the fact that they should be feeling bad.
    – Justin
    Apr 22, 2020 at 20:59
  • That makes sense as an interpreation, so I've added it. It is still a bit of a stretch. If this means anything it should mean that, (!)
    – James K
    Apr 22, 2020 at 21:07

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