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

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7
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3answers
14k 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
votes
2answers
553 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.
3
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2answers
281 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 ...
1
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3answers
3k views

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. ...
0
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1answer
204 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
306 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
votes
5answers
820 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.
2
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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 ...
1
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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
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
4k 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
votes
3answers
579 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
221 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
580 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
491 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
653 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
300 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
630 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 ...
1
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1answer
957 views

'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 ...
1
vote
4answers
227 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
vote
1answer
563 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
392 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
761 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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
387 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
13k 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
783 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" ...
10
votes
5answers
6k 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
votes
1answer
62k 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
votes
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
votes
4answers
523 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
votes
3answers
903 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
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
822 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".
7
votes
5answers
2k views

“If I knew you're coming I wouldn't have come”

Is the statement If I knew you're coming I wouldn't have come correct? Should we use If I had known you're coming, I wouldn't have come instead? Please consider American-British ...
7
votes
5answers
894 views

What's the tense for repetitive past action?

In English, "would" usually denotes a conditional voice. "If I were sleepy, I would go to bed." But I've caught myself using it to denote repetitive or habitual past action. "On Thursdays, we would ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Using “if” or not in a sentence structure when expressing doubt

I use the following sentence construction a lot. I'm not sure if this is right. I was not aware of any problem until recently I noticed that quite a few of my colleagues used it a little ...
4
votes
2answers
468 views

Conditionals in the future

My colleague and I have a hot discussion about which is correct. My version is: If you don't fix the bug I will send you a patch. and his one is: I would send you a patch if you don't fix ...
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2answers
1k views

Usage of “will” and “would”

Which one is correct? What would I do without you. What will I do without you. You would always be my favorite travel buddy. You will always be my favorite travel buddy.
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1answer
1k views

Past/Present tense in a conditional statement

I'm not an English speaker. Even though I do understand conditional statements that are written by others but when it comes to my turn I still feel confused and don't really know how to organize it. ...