An independent clause that refers to a hypothetical situation contingent on another set of circumstance.

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using “if” - when to use present tense, and when to use past tense?

As a native speaker of English, these two sentences sound acceptable to me: A full refund can be claimed if the school fails to provide a textbook. A full refund could be claimed if the ...
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63 views

What's the truth about the subjunctive and conditional statements, anyway?

I have generally (I would say always, but I'm not sure I always thought this) supposed that in English, uses of the subjunctive are quite limited. They include desires, judgments, etc. ("I desire that ...
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2answers
57 views

“I like to” vs. “I'd like to”

When making a polite request, people often use the phrase, "I'd like to [SOME REQUEST]". But I also see the form, "I like to [SOME REQUEST]". For example, a former boss would arbitrarily interchange ...
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1answer
69 views

Meaning and use of “would have to be” in this sentence

I'm a beginner of English and really appreciate that you can help me learn more. I noticed a sentence: I think all the girls in the anime are awesome, but my favorites would have to be Nozomi and ...
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38 views

Conditional sentence type (if + subj. + simple past, subj. + simple present be + subj. complement)

A colleague asked me for an identification and explanation of a conditional sentence. I got as far as confirming that it is conditional and indicative (rather than subjunctive), but I am having ...
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43 views

Which is correct “was” or“ were”? [duplicate]

It's hard to imagine a pine tree wishing it was an oak. It's hard to imagine a pine tree wishing it were an oak. Which is correct sentence?
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1answer
63 views

Using “should” in a conditional sentence

I have a question about certain conditional sentences. Specifically with these rules: If + present = future For example: "If I win the lottery, I will go to France." If + past = conditional ...
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0answers
62 views

A Question on Shakespeare's use of conditionals [duplicate]

The following is a big question, but I am really confused by the use of conditional in this Shakespearean excerpt. From The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, Scene I: 142 I am agreed; and would I ...
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139 views

Which dialects of English consider “would” to be a polite form of “will”?

My recent trip to India exposed me to many sentences using "would" as a polite substitute for "will", as in Please make sure to leave on time. The last bus would depart at 8PM. Thanks for ...
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2answers
139 views

If and Whether - or not? Interrogative and Conditional words

It's clear to me that in some situations, "if" works but "whether" does not: 1a) If it rains, I shall take my umbrella. 1b) Call me if rain is predicted. Also some where only "whether or not" will ...
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2answers
134 views

“Would you mind if I smoked here?” — Conditional or not?

(1) Would you mind if I smoked here? Is (1) a conditional (i.e., a sentence containing a conditional clause)? Or is the if-clause complement of the verb mind? EDIT I feel the need to make it ...
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4answers
278 views

Using a present tense verb in an “if” clause, followed by the main clause

Is it possible to have a present tense verb in a sentence like this: If you resign now, you'd feel sorry later. Or must you always follow the second conditional format, arriving at a sentence ...
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3answers
98 views

Does good grammar offend?

I'm not a grammar nazi in my native language, and SURELY nor in the language I learn (English). And I think, when a person is expressing thoughts, he or she shouldn't think about grammatical ...
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1answer
70 views

“Supposing Jane ______ with us, what would you do?”

In this sentence: Supposing Jane ______ with us, what would you do? The available options for filling in that blank were: would come came will come has come is coming Could I know which is ...
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2answers
54 views

Usage of the Future Tense with a Conditional containing “unless”

Unless the plane encounters unexpected turbulence, it ------- in Iceland shortly before 5 P.M. In this conditional sentence using "unless", should the blank be filled with: 1) is arriving, 2) will ...
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3answers
402 views

I recommend vs. I would recommend

I just realized that throughout my life I have interchanged "I recommend that you do X" and "I would recommend that you do X". Is there a difference in their meanings in modern-day usage, or are they ...
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1answer
284 views

Is it grammatical to use “would” twice in a sentence? Why? Please consider the following examples [duplicate]

Is "would" used correctly in these sentences? I would not be surprised if you would lose. I would not give you the weapon if you would use it to harm others.
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6answers
76 views

A good sentence for specifying “without considering something” formally

Suppose that someone has done something valuable, but in doing that he has made some kind of cheating. I want to say that if we ignore the cheating, the work is valuable itself. What is an ...
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16 views

Use of would vs will? [duplicate]

What's the different between would and will? For example: How would it be? How will it be? When should I use one vs the other?
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1answer
66 views

Which is the most appropriate verb tense and mood for this text?

Access or use of this system without authorization or in excess of authorization either express or implied may subject violators to criminal and civil action. On top of that we would probably ...
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2answers
113 views

Why is it called zero conditional?

What's the meaning of the zero conditional or the first or the second .. Does it mean the form of the verb and what does that exactly mean does it mean infinitive although the present simple is used! ...
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2answers
57 views

Does “should” imply an opinion? [closed]

If I am given a short story about a situation. Then at the end I am asked: Should this person complete task A? Does that imply that I have to give my opinion and support it from points in the ...
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1answer
26 views

conditional perfect continuous [closed]

If he had not supported me, I would not have been standing here in front of you like this. Is the above sentence gramittically correct or not. Regards, sri.
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106 views

“If you get lonely, I hope you phone me” vs. “will phone me”

Which one is correct? If you get lonely, I hope you phone me any time. If you get lonely, I hope you will phone me any time. A detailed explanation would be fantastic.
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551 views

Why is it “could” and not “can” in the famous line: “If a face could launch a thousand ships”? [duplicate]

This is from a song lyric If a picture paints a thousand words, Then why can't I paint you? The words will never show the you I've come to know. If a face could launch a thousand ships, ...
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4answers
338 views

Present tense and conditional tense in a stated past tense

I have a question about using past and conditional tenses in a context that refers to something told in the past. I think I’ve seen both forms used in films/books, etc., but I'm not sure about it ...
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2answers
245 views

“If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon…”

There is an old quotation attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbour, tho' he build his house in the ...
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2answers
88 views

Is there such a thing as a “past subjunctive”?

Is there really such a thing as a “past subjunctive” in English? I actually learned the term “past subjunctive” from my Spanish class. From what I already know, the subjunctive is used with ...
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1answer
255 views

Transform the conditional sentence beginning with word 'Unless'

I have a sentence and need to transform it to begin with word unless. The sentence is Study hard now or you will regret it later. I am not able to begin this using Unless. My attempts are ...
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1answer
168 views

Is “I would understand everything you said if you said it in Portuguese” correct?

"I would understand everything you said if you said it in Portuguese." Is it any kind of conditional? And if it is, can you tell me which one? As I wrote this I had the feeling that it ...
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281 views

“… if we become friends” or “became” or “were to become”?

"I would feel happy if we become friends." (become) or "I would feel happy if we became friends." (became) or "I would feel happy if we were to become friends." (were to become) Update: or "I ...
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63 views

Exceptions that allow the use of “will” after “if” [duplicate]

This as what I've been able to establish: The use of "will" after "if" is legal only when any of the following conditions apply: The "will" is used as a verb (equivalent to "want"), for example, ...
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1answer
69 views

Using plural words when mentioning something in general [closed]

I am extremely weak at English grammar. I would like to ask the following sentence: 'To identify the contents of the crates or boxes, packing list will be prepared and attached outside the crates or ...
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6answers
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Difference between “would have + past participle” and “would + bare infinitive” in the main clause of a past subjunctive sentence

I'm wondering about the difference in meaning, if any, between the two sentences in each of the following examples. Example 1. a. If he was a serious leader, tackling the debt would have been a ...
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1answer
174 views

Can a remote conditional have “might” in the protasis?

In the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum, the authors write: A remote conditional must have a modal auxiliary as the apodosis verb (usually would, should, could, ...
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613 views

“If that was/were the case” [closed]

The subject: "We have never voted on ethics and morals." Which is correct? If that was the case If that were the case
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1answer
91 views

Conditionals (Past Tense)

In terms of conditional sentences, is it correct to say: if you knew why I WAS here, then I wouldn't need to be here. or If you knew why I WERE here, then I wouldn't need to be here. Which ...
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23 views

What does “Had X not Y” mean? [duplicate]

In this sentence, It should have, had the umpire not been intimidated by the reputation of the man who had come in to bat why "had" is being used here? what is its meaning in the above context? ...
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1answer
198 views

Grammar: French conditionnel in English?

Could anybody help me here, please? I’d like to know the grammatical form of the verb “can" in the following examples: 18y old Tim is asked by a relative what he’s going to do with his life. ...
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397 views

What’s the difference between “if I were” and “if I would be”? [closed]

Can someone tell me the difference between these two phrases: if I were rich if I would be rich I am not a native English speaker, so it’s hard for me to see any difference in meaning between ...
5
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1answer
190 views

When did it become common to 'double the conditional'? [duplicate]

Twins is a 1988 comedy featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito as genetically engineered twins. The fact that they’re genetically engineered is used to explain the differences between ...
2
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1answer
71 views

A use of “should” [duplicate]

I don't get to understand the meaning of "should" in this sentence. She stared out of the window with her lips pinched together, and it seemed quite natural that the rain should have begun to ...
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2answers
1k views

“Would have not” vs. “would not have”

That would not have happened if John had completed his work. That would have not happened if John had completed his work. The former seems correct. The latter doesn't seem incorrect. ...
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2answers
2k views

Using “will” after “if”

I've been told that native-speakers don't ever use "will" after "if", and that saying it this way is a not-native style. So from the film (Harry Potter, pt5) I noticed a line that confused me. Look ...
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3answers
230 views

How can I rephrase a question with if clause, to be answered only if the event of the “if” clause happened [closed]

I would like to ask a question which is to be answered only if some past condition is met: If you did something in the past, could you tell me more about it? How should I rephrase it?
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2answers
440 views

“I would like that he was normal”; is this sentence correct?

I would like that he was normal. This sounds a little awkward but plausible. Is it valid English? How about another example: I would like that he bathed before going to sleep. It sounds a ...
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2answers
997 views

What does “would not have been possible had I remained” mean?

What does this mean? I am sure this would not have been possible had I remained a typical Anglophone North American. I have never heard that before and I really find it strange. I deduce that ...
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96 views

2nd Condition or mixing 2nd and 3rd for assumption time in the past

Which of the two following sentences would be better to use for a situation where I regret that I did not do something in the past? If it were yesterday, I would buy the car. If it were yesterday, I ...
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150 views

Wondering if this mixed conditional is correct or not ( taken from Euronews )

Earlier on his arrival in Warsaw the president had met US and Polish air personnel from a detachment of F-16 fighter jets. Obama also stressed that more sanctions were being prepared against Russia ...
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3answers
157 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct, and is it an example of the subjunctive?

Is this sentence grammatically correct, and is 'your ensuring' here an example of the subjunctive? "We appreciate your ensuring all workstations are switched off before leaving the office locked at ...