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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16
votes
2answers
2k 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....
9
votes
3answers
912 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 ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
579 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 ...
24
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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
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4answers
28k 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?
6
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3answers
17k 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
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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
141 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
167 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
247 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
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1answer
609 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-...
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
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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
322 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
10k 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." "...
10
votes
3answers
62k 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 ...
19
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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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
460 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
427 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
738 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
9k 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
307 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
581 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
10k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
5k 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
4k 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
169 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 ...
4
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3answers
2k 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 ...
1
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1answer
194 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 ...
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 ...
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
2answers
5k 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
3answers
6k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
283 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.
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

could the second conditional be like this?

From a film subtitle: "What would've happenned if you were a few minutes later, Hani?" I think that 'What would have happened if you had been a few minutes later,Hani?'is right? I think this is ...
12
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2answers
14k views

Conditional: “are not” vs. “don't be”

Consider the following phrases (someone is talking with a friend who is challenging some mobsters): If you are not careful, they will catch you. or If you don't be careful, they will ...
9
votes
4answers
18k 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. ...
10
votes
5answers
18k views

Use of the subjunctive versus conditional mood

From my English classes I remember the rule that when you are expressing a condition with words like if, you must use the subjunctive mood in the subordinate clause, and the conditional in the main ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Difference between “asked” and “were to ask” in conditional sentences? [duplicate]

What is the difference in the meanings of the following sentences: If you asked me, I would say no. If you were to ask me, I would say no. I know that these sentences express imagination of the ...
3
votes
1answer
506 views

Using the past tense to describe unreal, hypothetical, or impossible situations

I know that when the situation is unreal, we use the "if" clause plus past tense. If you didn't know English, you would not know how to solve these problems. [The fact is that the person knows ...
8
votes
4answers
38k views

“I would have liked [to have seen / to see] John …”

I've come across the following sentence on a BBC Learning English page: I would have liked to have seen John before he left for Canada, but Mary didn't want to. I was just wondering can we ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

May I use “will” in an “if” clause?

Which is of the following sentence is correct? If you sit here 10 minutes, I will tell the manager you have been here for an hour. If you will sit here 10 minutes, I will tell the manager you ...
3
votes
1answer
863 views

Correct usage of “If I were”

Which of the following sentences are correct? If I was him, I'd buy a car later when I have money. If I was him, I'd buy a car later when I had money. If I was in her place, I'd ask the kids if they ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

There are a couple of sentences that I'd like to compare

There are sentences that I'd like to compare. If you try to take pictures of restricted exhibitions, a member of the staff will ask you to put your camera away. I'm not sure if you will or ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Inversion in condition clauses

For instance: Had I continued to advance in the field of science, especially in my linguistic knowledge and computer skills, I would have become an unrivaled pioneer in that field. Hi again I ...
6
votes
2answers
814 views

If : second conditional or third conditional

PEU. 256 and 426 says that In most subordinate clauses, we use past tenses to express 'unreal' or conditional ideas: If you asked me nicely, I might get you a drink.(second conditional) ...