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 "the number of people you would have thought" OR "the number of people you would think"?

This from the BBC website Lost wallet found 5 years on It is about a story in which somebody lost his wallet 5 years ago after he watched a game in a rugby stadium, and it was found 5 years later. ...
yunus's user avatar
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"If I knew what you want/wanted to eat tonight"

Context: I am talking to my friends, trying to find out what she wants to eat tonight. "What do you want to eat tonight?" "You know what I want to eat." "If I knew what you wanted to eat, I ...
franziska bohn's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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"had + past participle " VS "could have + past participle " in conditional sentence

The following sentence is collected from cricinfo.com: They were under a little bit of pressure then. If we could have carried on, we could have set them 220 or even more than that. So to get out ...
techie z's user avatar
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1 answer
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What tense to use when a subjunctive mood sentence has nested clauses

Consider the following sentence: If I knew what the problem ___, I would be able to help you better. Should the verb be "is" or "was"?
Long Horn's user avatar
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If I took the test and failed, it would (have) be/been a waste of time

Let’s say I’m talking to a fellow student about whether or not we should take a certain test this semester or the next semester. We haven’t started to study for the test, so thus far no time has been ...
Alon's user avatar
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Is this mixed conditional sentence correct?

Consider the following sentence. I want to talk about something in future which is related to something in the past! Unfortunately the thing in the past did not happen and therefore in future it will ...
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What tense is used in "how the hell else could he have been flying off to Asia"?

The source is from the the movie "My Dinner with Andre. The full sentence is "People have always known that he had some money somewhere, I mean, how the hell else could he have been flying ...
Lucas Tsui's user avatar
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Assuming yesterday I met your brother, I would say

Person A: What is the meaning of "bump into someone"? Person B: If I met your brother somewhere unexpectedly, I would say, "I bumped into him yesterday." Here I'm only interested ...
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"If people were not there for their friends when they {need/needed} them" - which tense is correct?

I was writing this sentence: If people were not there for their friends when they need them the most, the world wouldn't be a nice place to live. I know that according to the rule of second ...
Mohammad's user avatar
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Why is this sentence not in the subjunctive? "If you draw yourself, how would it turn out?"

If you draw yourself, how would it turn out? Someone said it should be like "If you were to draw...", but why? I'm not troubled with the "were to" sentence. I'm just quite ...
dolco's user avatar
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Past perfect with 2nd conditional

Let's consider this situation: There was a test last Monday and I cheated on that test, so I tell a friend: If the teacher found out, they would fail me. and I also wanna tell my friend that the ...
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Nature of the use of -ing after some 3rd conditional constructions

Good day. I am a student currently about to finish English Studies at college. I usually have observational competence to whether a sentence is grammatically correct or not, but I am now trying to ...
Alessandro Malatesta's user avatar
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2 answers
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Can you reword conditional setence in subjunctive and still retain the same meaning?

For example If he were alive today, he would've supported the independence movement. Here the speaker is talking about somebody who has passed away in a present interview. Wouldn't it be more ...
willhem will's user avatar
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Using two If clauses in this sentence

I have received an invitation to visit a research lab for "several hours" in a well-known institution for potential hiring. I have provided them with my availability but I followed that with this ...
Rick's user avatar
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Only if do you need

I do not understand why we say this "only if he asks do you need to tell him" instead of this "only if he asks you need to tell him" can you help me please
T Tea Tie's user avatar
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Using "would have" + past participle in conditional clauses

Can I use "would have" + past participle structure for conditional clauses? For many years he would practice that kind of style of management, that is, not getting into the details of problems ...
brilliant's user avatar
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tense of the main clause with "if only"

Which tense should be used in the main clause of the following? We tend / would tend to view the earth as capable of regulating itself, if only humans would stop interfering with it. I'd ...
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Could have been

I am intrigued by something I have tried to translate from German to English. I intend to say that I had to write an exam (a translation) once which I couldn´t really prepare for other than trying to ...
Marcin Nowak's user avatar
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1 answer
1k views

Conditionals: "if after all," "if after life," and "as if I'm/I was/I were"

Does the use of "if after" change nothing with the rules of if-conditionals? Are these sentences okay? If after all we'll do will make no effect, then why are we still trying? If after all ...
Xyenz's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is this passive verb construction & condition wrong?

Sentence itself: [Enemy] uses that spell when was attacked by any Ice spell. I am wondering, is that construction sounds "good" in English, or native speaker would rather use different tense/aspect ...
Mark's user avatar
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1 answer
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Past perfect usage in hypothetical statement

On Quora, I've run into such a sentence where the author describes a hypothetical situation if astronauts wore unsuitable space suits on the Moon: At about this time, they’d realize that the sides ...
olegst's user avatar
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Third conditional with modals in both sentences - can it look the same?

2nd conditional: I would leave if I could. 3rd conditional: I would have left if I could --the same form of "could" but I would have left if I could have used the car. Is that correct? Is ...
John V's user avatar
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Is this sentence talking about the past or present?

I’m not sure whether this sentence refers to past or present situation: You couldn’t do the job if you didn't speak Japanese fluently.
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Why can't I use a past perfect tense in this condition part?

the sentence is: If you didn't want to buy that shirt you shouldn't have bought it ('didn't' - it's a past simple not a second conditional, watch the video by the link above) Question: When can I ...
Max's user avatar
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Using the 2nd conditional with present tenses

I know I ask a lot of questions on conditionals here. It's probably because how they work interest me a lot. Suppose someone says "If I was a bacon company owner, I'd see to it that you get a ...
lekon chekon's user avatar
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1 answer
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If it was not for vs If it hadn't been for

1 If it was not for Vivian, the conference wouldn't be going ahead. 2 If it hadn't been for Dad, I wouldn't have gone to college. I know the second sentence indicates a time in the past ...
Gamal Thomas's user avatar
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Time frame in a second conditional clause

In type 1 conditional sentences, the time is the present or future and the situation is real in both clauses. In type 3 conditionals, the time is the past in both clauses. In Type 2 conditionals, the ...
brp7's user avatar
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Usage of Will/Would with the conditional clause

Occasionally, we have the occurrence of will/would in the condition clauses. In the below examples, 'will' and 'would' are supposed to have the meaning of 'willing to" or 'want to.' Example 1. If ...
brp7's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can the "for" starts a sentence and becomes the integral sentence?

There is a sentence in the the economist, but it seems not correct: For there are worse things for a polity than to be led by a cheerful, pragmatic and dedicated leader. "For" guides a ...
Y. zeng's user avatar
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Would have rescued you vs would rescue you

A -- Jim has been abducted, we need to rescue him B -- It's too risky, we I can't go. A -- But he would have done the same for you. I don't know how to conceptualise this construction. So what I ...
ASDASD ASDASD's user avatar
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"If it wasn’t/weren't for" vs. "If it hadn't been for"

The following is an extract from CNN. I'm wondering if it's okay to use "wasn't" ( or "weren't," if one wants to be formal). Why wasn't hadn't been used? The family of five — ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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Use of first conditional

We can't know for sure what will happen in the future. In this case, do we use a first conditional? For instance: If the weather improves, we're going to the beach. Here, we don't know wheather the ...
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What kind of structure is it?

I’m glad this programme is about singing because I love it and what I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm! It's taken from the BBC podcast I understood the meaning with the help of an ...
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Idiomatic mixed conditional sentences

This is related to my other question. So I went to look up mixed conditionals and the sentence from the linked question fits the form of 'present condition/past result' conditional. Now the rules say ...
Michael Munta's user avatar
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0 answers
29 views

Type 2 IF Conditional. vs Type 3 Situation Comparison

If I am standing there talking to someone while they are getting ready I can use TYPE 2? such as all of these? If you woke up earlier, then you wouldn’t need to rush. If you didn’t leave so late, ...
GreenKhan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
26 views

Can someone explain this conditional? (Past simple + past perfect)

I've just come across one conditional that I don't quite understand. If what she said was true, Marilyn had almost certainly left town last night. I understand that the first part of the sentence is ...
englishfreak9's user avatar
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0 answers
26 views

Had better plus present perfect vs 3rd conditional

If I say You had better have invited him. I'm referring to the point that the addressed person hasn't been invited yet. I was thinking that I can also say it like this: It would have been better if ...
BM of Spadana's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Can the following sentence (without if) be regarded as a conditional type 2 sentence?

I was wondering if the following question can be regarded a conditional sentence of the 2nd type: To hear some men talk, you'd think that women belonged to a different species! In fact the sentence ...
Sepideh Abadpour's user avatar
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0 answers
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present or past tense in conditional sentence?

Look at the following sentence: The importance of leisure time would be more vivid if we consider / considered that too much work will result in burnout. Which one is correct? consider or considered?...
a.toraby's user avatar
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I always fail to use the correct conditional construction!

Which one of the following options are correct? I think the second one is correct because it is about past and we need third conditional. Is it right? Curfews were a big part of my childhood and I ...
a.toraby's user avatar
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0 votes
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We couldn't be on time if you hadn't given us a ride

Is there a natural scenario for the following sentence? We couldn't be on time if you hadn't given us a ride. Note that I'm not asking about "We couldn't have been on time if you hadn't given ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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23 views

would + perfect infinitive with future perspective

Even if I hadn't reminded you, you would still have cleaned the room tomorrow. Even if I hadn't reminded you, you would still clean the room tomorrow. Does the second sentence sound equally natural? ...
Kinzle B's user avatar
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"I will shoot you a message, if you ___ available, we can play!"

I will shoot you a message, if you ___ available, we can play! So, what verb should I use here? "were" or "are"?
NUMERICALUDD's user avatar
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This would be entirely appropriate if her not having come had strained their relationship

While answering a certain question, someone (a native speaker) writes: "My sister came over last night. She'd been promising to come for weeks, and she finally came." "My sister came ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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grammar - Conditionals

Let's say, I have something that I rarely use, but I don't want to throw it away because I think I may need it in the future. So, do I use conditional 1 or 2? I thought I should keep it in case I ...
G SXXIII's user avatar
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Further questions: Even if with subjunctive mood or indicative mood

My main question is; Even if can be used with subjunctive mood or something like indicative mood. Actually I do know Even if used with subjunctive mood. But my main point is latter one. ===============...
Tae-Bbong-E's user avatar
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0 answers
32 views

Mix of the 2nd and the 1st Conditional

If she got back late last night, she won't come to school today. Is it grammatically OK? It sounds right, but I couldn't find any reference to a conditional sentence that has Past Simple in the if-...
Elaol's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is the clause "I ever have" in the sentence "the best gift I ever have" grammatically correct?

I am hesitant whether the sentence "the best gift that I ever have", is appropriate for expressing that the gift that will be given to me in the future (might happen or might not) will be ...
Abita Yay's user avatar
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0 answers
1k views

Examples of modal verbs with Zero Conditionals (Present Real Conditionals)

Yesterday I asked this question, but haven't got any answer so far... So I try to ask that my question in another way (thorough some simpler questions): Can the following sentences be considered ...
RussoTuristo's user avatar
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256 views

Modal verbs in Zero Conditionals (Present Real Conditionals)

What modal verbs can be used in Zero Conditionals (Present Real Conditionals)? For example, I have stumbled across such examples: If you want to go to university, you must study hard. If it can be ...
RussoTuristo's user avatar