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Questions tagged [conditional-constructions]

For questions about constructions which associate a hypothetical or imagined 'condition' with a 'consequence' which is inferred to be true if the 'condition' is true OR predicted to occur if the 'condition' occurs. "If John arrives tonight we will have a party."

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Difference between "if + present, will + infinitive" and "if + present, would + infinitive"

What is the difference between the following two sentences. I will be surprised if he confesses. I would be surprised if he confesses. I know that the first is often referred to as first conditional....
Aki's user avatar
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14 votes
5 answers
1k views

Tense agreement in the past irrealis conditionals

The following is taken from PEU1 123.5: Could have + past participle can refer to present situations which were possible but have not been realised. He could have been Prime Minister now ...
Kinzle B's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

"Will" vs "would"

Here is the sentence from the test Without the Sun there _____________ no light, no heat, no energy of any kind. a) will be b) would be c) will The answer is obviously "b" because it is ...
Im ieee's user avatar
  • 225
5 votes
2 answers
795 views

using "should" in an if adverbial clause

Do any one know if we use the word should in any if adverbial clause, so how that affects the sentence? Just my Profs. told me this: when we add "should", this emphasises the speaker's uncertainty ...
nima's user avatar
  • 5,847
-1 votes
2 answers
60 views

scope of clause within complex sentence

If I said, "I will run, not if it is snowing, if I my shoes are comfortable." Does the "if my shoes are comfortable" modify the "I will run" clause? I agree the sentence ...
Indira Singh's user avatar
23 votes
4 answers
2k views

First, second and third conditional

On grammar.ccc Rob De Decker, who (as it is written there) teaches English at a Flemish grammar school in Belgium, explains the so-called first, second and third conditional. Instant English, a best-...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
465 views

Need answer to an "if" question

I had a test today and there was this question : If you are a well-organized person, you .... your time. a) will manage b) manage I'd like to know the answer and why? Thanks in advance.
user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
825 views

"Might" vs. "may". What's the difference?

What is the difference between might and may? Is one a more formal way to speak, or is one correct and the other wrong?
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
39k views

"She will be visiting" vs. "she will visit"

When she goes to Mexico, she will be visiting Chichen Itza. When she goes to Mexico, she will visit Chichen Itza. Is there a particular difference in meaning, or it is just the matter of style?
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
7 votes
3 answers
25k views

"If you were to do" compared to "If you did"

If they were to cancel the deal, I would be devastated. If they canceled the deal, I would be devastated. My thextbook says, the "if ... were to" construction gives much less probability ...
mosceo's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
217 views

"If you explained what you ___ trying to achieve, I would ..."

I've written the next sentence If you explained what you are trying to achieve, I would recommend a kind of workaround. and it has raised doubts about the tense I should have used in the ...
Andrew Tobilko's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

'Would have' used alone for unreal past situations, not in conditional

Can I use would have alone like The situation would have been worse without his help. The lack of anybody's cooperation would have caused us a lot of problems. to provide the same meaning as using ...
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5 votes
2 answers
209 views

"Will" or "Would"?

In my understanding, while talking about future whether to use "would" or "will" depends on our perception and subjective. If you are confident about something you can use 'will' instead of 'would' ...
kiranpn123's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Uncertain usage of "should" and construction of the verb

I am not quite sure whether in the following sentence the construction of the verbs and the rest of wording are correct: Should the construction of the University Hospital be completed, this would ...
Veronique Vercingetorix's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

"Should" instead of "were to"

Can we use "should" instead of "were to" and vice versa? I've noticed that mostly they mean the same thing in the subjunctive and the conditional clauses. Especially when the "were to" isn't in the if-...
SovereignSun's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
283 views

Non-deontic uses of "should have done"

Next day we got on to more intimate subjects and I began to learn something of his life. He was now nearer fifty than forty years of age, though I should have thought him younger. I had been ...
Kinzle B's user avatar
  • 7,105
3 votes
1 answer
399 views

Necessity of using "had had" when a single "had" could have sufficed?

If Sir John had had the slightest idea what was going to be the devastating effect of his son's handsome looks upon a certain beautiful courtesan and the tragedy which would ensue, he might have had ...
Mistu4u's user avatar
  • 6,425
3 votes
1 answer
7k views

"Would have been" or "Would be"

In my English reviewing paper, I have a multiple choices question like this: Henry ___ a rich man today if he had been more careful in the past. I filled in "would have been" and my ...
user284101's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

"should" could be inverted in affirmative or some type of condition sentences

Should anyone phone, tell him I'm busy. If anyone phones, tell him I'm busy. I am wondering what is the difference between those? What is more, I am wondering as to the inversion in the first ...
nima's user avatar
  • 5,847
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Tense simplification in the present or future irrealis conditionals

PEU1 580 tense simplification in subordinate clauses Past (form) instead of would... Would, like will, is avoided in subordinate clauses; instead, we generally use past verbs. This ...
Kinzle B's user avatar
  • 7,105
0 votes
0 answers
24 views

Meaning of sentence with 2 conditionals [duplicate]

I said out loud, "I will ride my boat....not if it is raining....if the wind speed is 5mph” Does this mean: I will ride my boat if it is not raining outside and if the wind speed is 5mph. That is,...
Indira Singh's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Conditional in the past -- "If Vietnam *would* fall..."

President Eisenhower had a strategic vision, the Domino Theory. If Vietnam would fall, other countries in Southeast Asia would fall too. A lecturer (native speaker) said it on a lesson. Using would ...
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
12 votes
4 answers
25k views

Is "would + present tense" bad grammar?

Is using "would + present tense" bad grammar? I said "Would it be alright if I go with you?" to a classmate and she replied with "Sure, it would be OK if you came with me." which threw me off a bit. ...
jess's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
99k views

Difference between "if only" and "only if"

What is the differences between "if only" and "only if" ? What is the use of each in the sentences? Are there any specific rules for their uses? "I could get more work done ...
Ice Girl's user avatar
  • 4,277
10 votes
2 answers
5k views

What is the difference between "If" and "When" in a conditional clause?

For these two expressions: I will give it to you when I no longer need it. I will give it to you if I no longer need it. Let us say it is an object such as a book or a laptop or something similar. ...
Max's user avatar
  • 8,816
9 votes
2 answers
15k views

"can have done" structure?

When talking about possibilities in the past, You often use "could have done". "She could have gone to the theatre with him." "He couldn't have done such a thing!" "I could have saved them." "...
daemang's user avatar
  • 385
6 votes
3 answers
17k views

"If he were to do" vs. "if he did"

What is the difference in the meaning of following sentences? If Tom were to do my homework, I would watch a film. If Tom did my homework, I would watch a film. I know that both of these ...
yubraj's user avatar
  • 2,838
5 votes
1 answer
268 views

Speaking about a real event in the past when it has not happened

Suppose my friend buys a lottery ticket on April 1st and finds out he has won a million dollars. On April 10th there will be a ceremony where he will get the money. But on April 2nd he loses the ...
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
5 votes
1 answer
234 views

Why sometimes it is correct not to put a comma after an if-clause?

There is a recommendation to put a comma after an if-clause which is placed at the beginning of a sentence. For example: If there was the time when songs like this were not needed, I would not live ...
Aer's user avatar
  • 425
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

past simple vs past perfect in conditionals

I was brushing up on usage of if-clauses and came across one misunderstanding. M. Swan provide some sentences as an example in the lesson about unrealised present and future possibilities: If my ...
Dmitrii Bundin's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

Usages of "in case" and "should" inversion

I'll be at my uncle's house in case you need to reach me. I'll be at my uncle's house just in case you need to reach me. I'll be at my uncle's house should you need to reach me. I'll be at my uncle's ...
nima's user avatar
  • 5,847
4 votes
1 answer
441 views

When I put 'is' instead of 'be' in: "If she be found guilty"

If she be found guilty… (YBM #8) I got a curiosity what difference there is when I put ‘is’ instead of ‘be.’ The dictionary says ‘is’ is used in spoken language. Is that all? Is there no semantic ...
Listenever's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
20k views

Explaining the Second Conditional and the Third Conditional in a "logical" way

When I was searching for a job, I applied to be an English teacher, and the employer asked me about "how to efficiently explain to students the difference between the second conditional and the third ...
user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
8k views

"Could have" = "would possibly have" here?

The following parts are taken from Michael Swan's, Practical English Usage (hereafter PEU): 259.2 could have ... and might have ... We can use could have + past participle to mean 'would have ...
Kinzle B's user avatar
  • 7,105
3 votes
3 answers
940 views

Mixed conditionals/ 3rd conditional which one should be the better option to go with?

If I hadn't left her, it would be our 7th anniversary tomorrow. If I hadn't left her, It would have been our 7th anniversary tomorrow. Are both the above sentences grammatically correct? Do they ...
lekon chekon's user avatar
  • 2,705
3 votes
1 answer
354 views

What does 'would' mean following 'certainly'?

We certainly wouldn't advise you to approach the site yourself. (Source: BBC, The Archers, 2013-04-19 Friday, 5’40”.) What's the meaning of would when it follows certainly? Would might produce ...
Listenever's user avatar
  • 24.2k
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Using just Past Simple in the Third conditional

Genderson: I told you not to take the turnpike. KRAMER: I thought we would blend in. Genderson: If we took the Palisades, this never would've happened. KRAMER: Then we would've had all ...
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Subjunctive in if clause

I have a question about the use of the subjunctive in if clauses. I usually use grammarly as a grammar checker and ran into following problem: I wrote: If he stay at home, he would die. Grammarly ...
h345k34cr's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
0 answers
32 views

To tell about a guess about a case in the past, why use "would+have+past participle" instead of "must+have+past participle? [duplicate]

I have seen this sentence in an article on bbc, which is about how people lived thousands of years ago. "When this Neolithic home was built, it would have had a cosy roof of turf.." When I ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,559
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

It will be delivered after it [ is | was | will be ] inspected?

I have a problem understanding the difference between these sentences. Before new chapter in my English book I was kind of ok with all three sentences, but now I'm having trouble understanding them ...
Vico Lemp's user avatar
  • 197
2 votes
4 answers
14k views

Should in conditional sentences

I am wondering for which type of conditional sentences such a "should" could be used? that is, the zero conditional or blah blah blah...??? "Should in Conditional Sentences" at EnglishPractice.com ...
nima's user avatar
  • 5,847
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is "that would be correct" always followed by an if statement?

I have always thought when people use the phrase "That would be correct", it is always followed by some "if" statement; for example, Jane: "Is it correct to say that people are allowed to turn ...
user34510's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

"had I stayed" or "if I had stayed"?

Could you explain to me which structure was used in this sentence in the following passage. I developed into a very different person than I would have done had I stayed in Australia... Should it ...
Mrt's user avatar
  • 11k
1 vote
2 answers
697 views

Difference in meaning between 'I'd be surprised if he hadn't/hasn't'

"Has he tried to flirt with you yet? I'd be surprised if he hadn't." "Has he tried to flirt with you yet? I'd be surprised if he hasn't." Is the first one more appropriate than the second? ...
lekon chekon's user avatar
  • 2,705
1 vote
3 answers
21k views

What is the difference between 'should' and 'if'?

Should you be lucky to invite the Seoul, If you are lucky to invite the Seoul, What is the difference between the two sentences in meaning? And what is the reason we change the order from 'you ...
박용현's user avatar
  • 3,329
1 vote
1 answer
275 views

Using Past Simple (verb to be) for Unreal (Counterfactual) Past Situations

In this post (Using just Past Simple in the Third conditional) Michael Swan says: 262 if (7): other structures found in spoken English 4 mixed tenses Sometimes a simple past tense is used ...
learner's user avatar
  • 5,938
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

Conditional clause (then)

In this first instance the main clause only stands alone if you omit (then). But in the other example it clearly has a main clause. So would this be classed as an embedded main clause as it only ...
bluebell1's user avatar
  • 577
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

two conditions in one sentence using would

Please help me with following sentence construciton. I want to use two conditions using if and would. Senario is our office bus is not passing near from my bosss residence hence he prefer to travel ...
user4084's user avatar
  • 2,303
0 votes
1 answer
148 views

type 2 and type 3 conditional sentences (a subordinate clause within the protasis or apodosis)

I read this sentence today: If I were five years old again, I would sleep in every Saturday while I still had the chance! I am confused why is had used in the last part. When the first part is ...
Sudhir Sharma's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
7k views

Is there a difference in meaning among 'should', 'happens to', or 'should happen to'?

What is the difference in the meaning of following sentences (I'm asking for detailed anlaysis of these sentences) If it rains, I will stay at home. If it should rain, I will stay at home. If it ...
yubraj's user avatar
  • 2,838