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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18
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2answers
3k views

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....
13
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5answers
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 ...
10
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3answers
965 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 ...
5
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2answers
653 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 ...
-1
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2answers
42 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 ...
23
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4answers
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-...
1
vote
4answers
32k 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?
7
votes
3answers
22k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
177 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' ...
4
votes
2answers
254 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
797 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-...
2
votes
1answer
5k 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 teacher ...
6
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1answer
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
333 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 ...
1
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2answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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,...
11
votes
3answers
83k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
565 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?
8
votes
2answers
11k 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." "...
18
votes
3answers
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
22k 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. ...
4
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6answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
560 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? ...
5
votes
1answer
429 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
814 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
324 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
743 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
688 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
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. ...
6
votes
1answer
214 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

"That would be correct"?

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
23 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
216 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
4k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Doubts with second and third conditional [closed]

I've got some doubts while doing my exercise in second and third conditional. Could somebody check if it is correct? Thanks in advance. Matt doesn't treat Sue well. She won't stay with him. If Matt ...
0
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
9k views

Third Conditionals: "If I knew..." instead of "had known..." in casual register

I know that in the following sentences "If I had known" has to be used in the place of "If I knew" to form the grammatically right sentences. What I really want be sure of is that as a native if all ...
0
votes
2answers
289 views

How to differentiate between if zero conditional and if first conditional?

If the tree isn't watered, it (will die - dies - would die). I know zero conditional should be about facts. In the example above I'm confused whether to choose will die or dies.
0
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
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 ...