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

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82
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5answers
12k views

How do the tenses and aspects in English correspond temporally to one another?

Non-native speakers often get confused about what the various tenses and aspects mean in English. With input from some of the folk here I've put together a diagram that I hope will provide some ...
1
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2answers
299 views

Inverted conditional sentence using 'can' and 'will'

On this page in Wikipedia!, it states for first conditional sentences: The condition can also be expressed using the modal verb should. This form can be used to make an inverted condition ...
1
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1answer
55 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
40 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
98 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
78 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 ...
0
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1answer
53 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.
1
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1answer
42 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 ...
6
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4answers
293 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
58 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 ...
0
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0answers
15 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?
0
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1answer
118 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 ...
0
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2answers
82 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! ...
2
votes
2answers
182 views

Why is “till” used in this expression: “If we don't leave till after lunch…”?

If we don't leave till after lunch we'll be cutting it very fine. I understand it to mean: "If we don't leave after lunch, we'll be cutting it very fine." (In the event of our not leaving ...
1
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2answers
55 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 ...
0
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1answer
23 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.
-1
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4answers
81 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.
3
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
531 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, ...
4
votes
6answers
613 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
148 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
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
1
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2answers
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 ...
0
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0answers
62 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, ...
1
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1answer
137 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
922 views

“Would have” in conditional clauses

I have been taught to use the if I had form in conditional clauses referring to the past: If the president had asked me, I would have told him the same thing. As far as I can tell though, the ...
1
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1answer
156 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

was or were in Subjunctive Mood [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Which is correct: “what if there was” or “what if there were”? Which of following sentences is ...
1
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5answers
259 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 ...
1
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0answers
402 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
0
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
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? ...
0
votes
1answer
147 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. ...
1
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3answers
254 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 ...
1
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2answers
149 views

Is the tense change of the verb “need” to “needed” mandatory?

If the tense change of the verb "need" to "needed" is not mandatory, then if it was changed then how would it affect the meaning in the sentences below? If they asked for help, I would provide ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Placing a comma after a conditional statement

I've always had difficulties in figuring out where commas should be placed. For example, in a phrase containing a conditional statement, how should I write... If they don't arrive by noon, she'll ...
2
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
659 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. ...
5
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
303 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
85 views

“only if we ignored X, might Y happen”?

In spite of the general guidance on conditionals found on this site, I am struggling with which tenses to use in the following sentence to properly convey what I mean: Only if we ignored these ...
1
vote
2answers
540 views

“If there were” vs. “if there was” [closed]

I saw that there were already examples on this, but I didn't find any specific enough. My problem is this sentence: If there were anything that he didn't want, it was to hurt me. I previously ...
6
votes
1answer
511 views

Subjunctive and conditionals

This is another subjunctive and conditional question. I am interested in the formal, even archaic, uses, not just the modern uses (I am given to understand that the subjunctive is disappearing from ...
4
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
11
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5answers
8k 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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2answers
683 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 ...
0
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3answers
186 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?