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

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'Should xxx to be' vs 'Should xxx'

When is it fine to drop to be when should precedes it? For example: It should prove to be successful. vs It should prove successful.
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3answers
302 views

Conditionals with multiple verbs

I'm an ESL teacher. Normally I teach lower intermediate but I also teach a mixed level grammar review class. I pride myself on being able to explain things clearly but today I found myself in THREE ...
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1answer
416 views

Native speakers and the use of conditional statements

I often hear people say that native English speakers don't make grammatical mistakes. But I don't understand the use of conditional statements as most people don't really pay much attention to the ...
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2answers
122 views

Should the statement after “then” be followed with modals?

Consider the following: If you were to buy this, then ask me. Or should it be: If you were to buy this, then you would need to ask me. Is the use of would necessary here? If we go with the ...
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3answers
2k views

Different conditional clauses — “if you saw”, “if you were to see”, “if you had seen”

Given the following sentences, what is the difference between the conditional clauses in them? If you saw a lion in a thick forest, what would you do? If you were to see a lion in a thick ...
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4answers
3k views

“would love/like to” usage?

What is the difference between the sentences "I would love/like to play cricket" and " I want to play cricket." Is there any difference in the moods?
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3answers
15k views

“It would be better if you drink/drank all the water”

Which one of the following is grammatically correct? It would be better if you drink all the water. It would be better if you drank all the water. The question is, obviously, about the use ...
2
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2answers
578 views

Past perfect sentence in “I would have killed the snake if I had hit him…”

Is the following a correct past perfect sentence? I would have killed the snake if I had hit him hard with a stick.
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2answers
287 views

Is it grammatical to introduce a result clause using “then”?

Is it grammatical to introduce a result clause by using then as in these examples: Don’t be lazy – then you will fail. Don’t kill him – then you will regret it. If so, then is the then in these ...
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Conditional: “… would not have been turned …” (is it grammatical?)

I came across the following piece: So sensible, indeed, was the President of the weakness of the excuse, that he sought to make a diversion in favor of the Crown by demanding of M. ...
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1answer
207 views

“Would have” in the following

Reading a J.K Rowling book, I came across the following: It's only dying a bit later than I would have, because I am never going to the dark side!  Is the would have part compete here or ...
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3answers
314 views

If-clause with either

Which of these sentences look better? In addition, if the vertices that have outedges to this vertex are more central it will also be more central. or In addition, if the vertices that have ...
2
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5answers
846 views

Is it okay to write an if statement just by itself in an email?

Could we write an if statement just by itself in an email? For example: I didn't receive the contract. *So if you could ask her to send me a copy,it would be great.
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4answers
2k views

Is “if they would do something” correct English?

We were discussing if the following sentence would be proper English: I asked them if they would do me a favour. (A) The meaning is that I am referring to a point in the past where I asked ...
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3answers
4k views

Would be glad to

I was writing an email and faced the following situation: I am coming to Oxford this summer. If you are still around, I would be glad to hang out with you. Now normally we don't construct the ...
2
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1answer
5k views

“If not for you” meaning

Today I have encountered a phrase: If not for you, I would be poor. I would think it is like "if there were not you", is it like that? On the other hand, how would I say the following as the ...
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2answers
5k views

Usage of “would have been”

In the movie "A Walk to remember" Jimmie's father says the following to his son-in-law who got into medical school. Actually Jimmie is dead when he says, We are proud of you, son. Jimmie would ...
3
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3answers
596 views

3rd conditional plus 2nd conditional?

"If you had seen him as a child, you would agree that he is extraordinary." In this sentence, changing the past perfect to simple past strikes me as wrong, and changing the "would agree" to "would ...
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1answer
3k views

Using 'would' to talk about past with examples

The following are sentences, I would take the dogs out on a walk. I would have took the dogs out on a walk. I would took the dogs out on a walk. I understood them as follows: Possible action to ...
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0answers
89 views

if or should to ask possibility? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: A special use of “should”? I have received an email which was starting wih this: Should you have any questions, please call at this number... So could ...
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5answers
246 views

“I was going to be called Kate if I was a girl”

This is an excerpt from a grammar book by Longman. It was discussing tense and time distinctions and the excerpt is about future time. As you can see in the next example, the reference can be to a ...
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1answer
328 views

Trouble with second conditionals (with “could”)

I would do B if you could do A. This is a statement which has been bothering me for quite a while. I come across such statements often and, to me, they make no sense. Could is the subjunctive of ...
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2answers
617 views

would have and would in non conditional statements

Can we use both would have and would in non conditional past statements? For example: Last year during the summer, I would go home on weekends. past habitual Last year during the summer, I ...
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3answers
4k views

past perfect + would have + ed-participle / past simple + would + infinitive

Could you clarify difference between sentences: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses If I asked people what they wanted, they would say faster horses ...
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1answer
493 views

Meaning of sentence with 'would'

The sentence is: What would the people eat? Can it mean "What are the people going to eat?" in future Or, "What were the people going to eat?" talking about future from past Or, both?
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4answers
683 views

What to use for hypothetically completed future actions

I was talking to a friend where I had to make a hypothetical statement about an activity that was completed in the future. So I came up with the following statements. If he continued college, he ...
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1answer
305 views

Can Present Perfect be used for Past Conditional

Does present perfect in conditional only mean future situations? Can it be used for hypothetical future? When I went to Africa, I thought as if I have already been there. If you have studied, ...
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1answer
652 views

Subjunctive mood: 'was' usage after 'I wish' and 'if only'

SFX Magazine had declared the sentence below as follow: 1) STAR TURN, 2) BEST LINES. I wish Bernard Cribbins was my grandad. Perhaps he would be willing to adopt? Rattigan: “If only that ...
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1answer
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'Would' and 'might': differences and usage

Let us suppose that a hurricane is expected tomorrow in the place you are visiting. Would it be better that you say either "I think it would be better to leave early." or "I think it might be better ...
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4answers
230 views

Expressing rumour with the conditional

Is it grammatically correct to report a rumour using the conditional ('would be', 'would have') to express the simple present ('is', 'has')? Supposing that the story is not a confirmed fact regarding ...
1
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1answer
578 views

Third conditional would have and would

I read the following on a website and I was wondering if it was okay? Because the books only talk about the standard three forms. What would it mean if we changed the second part of the statement to ...
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3answers
397 views

Is this hypothetical (if-clause) question grammatically correct?

I came across the following question at a chat room: If I were an admin responsible for the security of an organization's network who were using X products in their network, how would I know ...
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2answers
826 views

Correct tense form after “if”

Let's say I use a misunderstood word in direct speech. After that, which is correct to use from the following? I can explain, if you don't catch the meaning. I can explain, if you haven't caught the ...
3
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3answers
11k views

“If I go..” vs. “If I will go..” referring to the future [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Future tense in conditional clauses Which one is correct? option 1: If I go there, I can meet her or option 2: If I will go there, I can meet her I clearly ...
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3answers
398 views

Tense for second sentence in conditional statements

I run into the following sitatution: If he had bothered Mike, he would have bothered him back so much that he would have forgotten about bothering anyone in his life again. Is 'would have' the ...
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3answers
2k views

The third conditional for “if I could”

What is the third conditional for "if I could"? For example, we say: If I had studied hard, I would have passed the exam. How about this: If I could study, I would have passed the exam.[Is ...
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4answers
14k views

If conditional “didn't” vs “hadn't”

Grammar rules say that hadn't is used for unreal past conditions, but why can't we use simple past negation instead of past perfect? If I hadn't come to the meeting, it wouldn't have happened. ...
0
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1answer
2k views

“If something were” or “If something was” in the 2nd conditional? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct: “what if there was” or “what if there were”? Correct usage of was/were on the object of a sentence “Was” or ...
4
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3answers
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Conditional + Let you know

The context is that a group of us asked a friend to come and have a breakfast, instead of study for a test (bad influence, I know). Initially she said she wouldn't come, but after some badgering on ...
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1answer
10k views

Usage of 'if' and 'if not' to mean 'and perhaps even/also'

Consider the sentence: While this assumption, on its own, is relatively innocuous, if implausible, in practice, it is supplemented by assumptions... The 'if' here really means something more ...
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2answers
808 views

“If we were going outside” in polite requests [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Was” or “were” in subjunctive clauses Can we use "if you were going outside, please let me know" or "I was wondering if you were going outside" ...
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5answers
7k views

Future tense in conditional clauses

All the textbooks I have ever come across during the course of my studying English emphasize that future tense should not be used in conditional clauses. For example, If it rains in the evening, ...
3
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1answer
67k views

“have been” versus “had been” in questions [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? "I can tell that he's not English, but I wouldn't had been able to tell that he's french if you didn't ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Would vs Will in future events

What is the difference between the following: Sorry, mate. I wouldn't be able to come for dinner. Sorry, mate. I won't be able to come for dinner.
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3answers
2k views

Is “even if…” followed by present or future tense? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say: even if only James Bond will benefit from... or even if only James Bond benefits from...
3
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4answers
539 views

Past conditional statements

What is the difference between the following two statements? If I went home for dinner, I took a glass of soft drink. If I went home for dinner, I would take a glass of soft drink. Are both ...
4
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3answers
932 views

What's an example of good style for an “if/then” statement?

I'm not sure what's common for conditional statements, with and without alternative consequent clauses, in speech—even my own—but as a computer programmer, I'm niggled whenever I have to write English ...
2
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5answers
7k views

'became' vs. 'become'

The following two sentences seem to have the same general meaning to me: If I ever became a musician, I would grow my hair If I ever become a musician, I will grow my hair I was wondering ...
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2answers
1k views

Must conditional sentences begin with “if?”

I've been looking at conditional sentences (conditional clauses). Every example I've see is along the lines of, "if [x] then [y]." I've seen alternatives/substitutes for the if part: were I ...
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5answers
850 views

Is it correct to say: “I would do something, be it me”?

I mean that "I would do something, if it only were me. But it was not me, so I've done nothing".