In all the resources that I have seen, I always find that would for conditional 2 and 3 is made up of a sentence with if-clause (or similar) and result clause (would).

But then I find many phrases like this: Nobody in their right mind would put that person on the witness stand

Is it just a type of conditional 2, but without if-clause? This makes sense in the Spanish translation, but I don't know. I have not found any resources where I explain this form of the conditional


1 Answer 1


The "if" clause is the condition, so if there's no "if" clause, then it's not a conditional at all.

Your example sentence uses "would" to create an unreal mood in exactly the same way unreal conditionals like 2nd and 3rd conditional do, but not everything that's unreal is a conditional.

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