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CONDITIONAL SENTENCES

CONDITIONAL SENTENCES

Date: Oct 28 2008

主題: 文法

作者: nad1a

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CONDITIONAL SENTENCES



As the name suggests, conditional sentences are those that describe a condition and a result that follows. In theory, they may seem a little abstract, but in truth, they are very common in daily conversations.


We may use them for real-life situations, as in:

"If you work hard, you succeed."

"If you work hard, you will get that promotion."



Or use them to describe unreal or imaginary situations:

"If I were rich, I would buy a house on the Bahamas." (but I am not rich.)

"If you had listened to my advice then, you would have been rich now." (but you did not listen)


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For real situations we use the ZERO and FIRST CONDITIONALS:


ZERO CONDITIONAL:

- to describe a general, real situation to say what always or usually happens in a given situation;

- use the present tense in both the condition and the result-clause:

"If you work hard, you succeed."

"If it rains, we stay at home."

"If he is sick, his sister hands in his assignments."


FIRST CONDITIONAL:

- to talk about a probable or certain outcome in the future, or something we believe will happen if the condition is satisfied;

- use the present tense in the condition clause and future tense in the result clause:

"If you work hard, you will get that promotion."

"If it rains tomorrow, we will not go on a picnic."

"If he is still sick next week, his sister will hand in his assignment."



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For unreal situations, we use the SECOND and THIRD CONDITIONALS:


SECOND CONDTITIONAL:

- (1) to give advice or make a suggestion; (2) to talk about what would happen in a situation which is not the case at present;

- use the past simple in the condition clause and would/could/should/might+infinitive in the result-clause:

"If I were you, I wouldn't disturb him"

"If we waited a little longer, we could meet the manager."

"If Mary knew about it, she would tell me."

"If you asked my brother, he would help you."



THIRD CONDITIONAL:

- to talk about what would have happened in a situation which was not the case in the past;

- use the past perfect in the conditional clause and would have/ could have /might have +past participle in the result-clause:

"If you had woken up early, you wouldn't have missed your flight."

"If he had studied harder, he would have passed his exams."

"If she had known, she would have told you."


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OTHER WORDS WE CAN USE INSTEAD OF "IF"


WHEN

"When you get there, you will see her."

"I will come when you call me."


SHOULD

"Should you be unable to answer your calls, we will take your messages."

"Should you require additional information, do not hesitate to phone us."


UNLESS = if...not

"Unless you work hard, you can't succeed."

"Unless she leaves now, she'll be late for the meeting."

"Unless you gave him the facts, he couldn't know."

"Unless they had seen her, they wouldn't have been so angry."


PROVIDED (THAT)

"Provided (that) you know what you want, you can always find a way to get it."

"Provided (that) he passes the test, he will qualify for the finals."
"
Provided (that) she listened, she could hear the bells."

"Provided (that) he had had the money, he would have bought it."


SUPPOSING (THAT)

"Supposing (that) she comes to the party, what will you do?"

"Supposing (that) she won from the lottery, would she lend you any money?"

"Supposing (that) at she ahd seen you there, what would you have done?"

"Supposing (that) he asked you for a loan, what would you say?"


__________________________________________________________________________________


Notes:


(1)

In the second conditional, it is natural to use 'were' in stead of 'was' for all persons, similarly to what we do in other unreal past structures, such as the wish-clauses (I wish I were rich.)

"If I were you, ..."

"If he were ... , ... "


(2)

The if-clause/condition, can always come after the result-clause.

"Things change when you grow up."

"He will be promoted if he keeps working so hard."

"We would call them if they showed an interest."

"I wouldn't have done it if you had warned me."


--> Observe that in such sentences the clauses are not separated by a comma.


--> The should-clause does not normally come after the result-clause!

(Do not hesitate to call us should you require additional information.)


(3)

In the second and third conditionals, we can omit the word 'if' in the condition-clause and in that case we should invert the subject with the verb as we do in an interrogative sentence:


If I were you, I would call her. --------> Were I you, I would call her.

If I had known, I wouldn't have done it. ---------> Had I known, I wouldn't have done it.


--> In these cases, the result clause cannot come before the conditional clause.

(I wouldn't have done it had I known.)

(I would call her were I you.)


意見

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xiaohuichang

China

a really good one , i like it and learn a lot from it .

02:42 AM Nov 26 2008 |

nad1a

nad1a

Greece

what exactly are you trying to say in the first case?

try and explain please.

the second one is just ok

06:33 PM Nov 25 2008 |

leo

Uzbekistan

 If i were loved, Ihad never lost her. If you want to be rich, you must work hard. HAve there any misses?

10:59 AM Nov 25 2008 |

souweli

souweli

Niger

thanks for the lesson it is very useful for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

03:39 PM Nov 24 2008 |

nad1a

nad1a

Greece

Maybe I could,Leo.

Would you explain what exactly you mean? Can you give an example of the structure you are asking about?

---

But as far as 'would rather' and the tense that follows is in question, this is what I can think of:

 

use bare infinitive/  present simple tense, after 'would rather' if you want to express preference:

"I would rather have tea." = "I prefer tea."

"I would rather go to Hawaii than to Alaska."

(check my lesson EXPRESSING PREFERENCES)

 

- use past tense simple past – if you're saying what you prefer another person would do or change:

"Can I call you back later?" – "I'd rather you didn't."

"I'd rather you didn't leave right now." = I don't want you to leave right now.

 

use have+past participle (have gone, have done etc) if you are refering to a past situation, saying what you should have done in the past :

"I went to Alaska, but I would rather have gone to Hawaii."

"I went to that party, but I'd rather have stayed at home."

(this is similar to 3th conditional, talking about what would have happened in the past under different circumstances; see my lesson CONDITIONAL SENTENCES)

10:08 AM Nov 24 2008 |

leo

Uzbekistan

  Thanks a lot ! You solved my problems. Can you explain would rather, sequances of tenses.

08:12 AM Nov 24 2008 |

ASHLY

ASHLY

Somalia

hiiiiiii

thanks for the lesson

it's really intersting

thanks againWink

09:38 PM Nov 21 2008 |

superbchuck7

Brazil

Oops! My bad!Surprised

Thks. Nad1a!

02:07 PM Nov 21 2008 |

nad1a

nad1a

Greece

Picking up fast, superbchuck7 Laughing

just polish up the word order a bit and you're the Master of Conditionals :-P

("If only I had …")

12:25 AM Nov 21 2008 |

superbchuck7

Brazil

If I only had found this site before I wouldn't have been in doubt about conditionals so much!Laughing

10:51 PM Nov 20 2008 |

Jamjam

Senegal

thank a lot…

01:37 PM Nov 19 2008 |

tiffintime

tiffintime

Sri Lanka

Great job, Nad1a! Though they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, I must say that I learned quite a lot from this very comprehensive lesson.

12:43 PM Nov 19 2008 |

nad1a

nad1a

Greece

Thank you dignified. happy you liked it

09:24 AM Nov 02 2008 |

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