I was writing an essay when a question sparked in my mind: can we write conditional sentences in two separate sentences? Especially since the conditional clause is verbose and wordy.


if parents teach the children how they should face with difficulties, how they can obviate the problems through hard work. Then they will be more successful persons in the future.

Are the highlighted sentences grammatically correct?

2 Answers 2


Can we write conditional sentences in two separate sentences?

Yes, you can, by changing the "if" clause into a statement of fact. While the sentence fragment is ungrammatical (as Jacob noted in his answer), you can reconstruct the concepts into two complete sentences by rephrasing the first sentence. Here is just one possibility.

Parents need to teach children how to face difficulties and how to obviate problems through hard work. Then their children will be more successful persons in the future.

The use of "obviate" seems a bit too formal for this sentence and its topic, although your usage of it is perfectly correct. I would choose to use "prevent" instead. For those who may not be familiar with the word, here is the extended definition of "obviate" from Merriam-Webster, along with some close synonyms.

Obviate derives from Late Latin obviare (meaning "to meet or withstand") and Latin obviam, which means "in the way" and is also an ancestor of our adjective "obvious." "Obviate" has a number of synonyms in English, including "prevent," "preclude," and "avert"; all of these words can mean to hinder or stop something. When you prevent or preclude something, you put up an insurmountable obstacle. In addition, "preclude" often implies that a degree of chance was involved in stopping an event. "Obviate" generally suggests the use of intelligence or forethought to ward off trouble. "Avert" always implies that a bad situation has been anticipated and prevented or deflected by the application of immediate and effective means.

See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obviate

For more information about conditional sentences and their structures, please see http://www.edufind.com/english-grammar/conditional/

This was a good question. I hope my answer is helpful.

  • Thanks for the answer, It is, definitely. So, English grammar allows us to use only two patterns for conditional sentences. Firs, If ....**,** .... . Second, .....**if** .... . I mean the very traditional Grammar for conditional sentences.
    – Cardinal
    Mar 5, 2016 at 15:58
  • Thank you for your comment, @Cardinal. I'm not an expert on conditional sentences, but see the link to edufind that I added to my answer. English is difficult, and I admire your diligence. With kind regards, Mar 5, 2016 at 18:25
  • I'm guessing the OP really means something like tackle or take on or deal with or solve, rather than prevent.
    – ruakh
    Mar 5, 2016 at 18:41
  • @ruakh- You may be right. I'll let Cardinal speak for himself, and if that is the case, I'll edit my answer accordingly. Thank you for pointing this out. Mar 5, 2016 at 18:46

Unfortunately this sentence construction is ungrammatical. The first sentence is a sentence fragment because it has no main clause. The main clause is in the second sentence. Every sentence must have a main clause. I think that you will be fine without this sentence construction. Although long, the sentence is still okay.

If parents teach their children how they should face difficulties and how they can obviate the problems through hard work, then they will be more successful people in the future.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .