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20

In trying to come up with some "reasoning" for your boss, I think you're likely to hit upon either a dead end or a an invented logic that is essentially a red herring. As in many cases, what you're dealing with is simply an arbitrary choice in how the language encodes something which indeed different languages arbitrarily encode in different ways. English ...


20

It is elliptical: a main clause like [have some] or [please take some] has been left out. I made sandwiches; [have some] if you want some. It is akin to requests like these: Please come with me; if you would be so kind [I would be much obliged]. Ladies and gentlemen; if you will come with me [I will be most thankful]. Somewhat similar is ...


18

This question is quite broad, and I find it quite hard to come up with an answer that is comprehensive yet succinct, technically impeccable yet easy to understand. At the risk of failing miserably, I'll give it a try nonetheless. Will, would, and have are auxiliary verbs used to form different tenses. Will is used to form Future Simple, to describe ...


16

If 'when' is used to indicate a context in the future, the 'will' becomes redundant and 'when' is followed by the present form of whatever verb. In this case: when + subject + present simple , subject + future simple When I know the answer, I'll call you When he leaves for work, I'll telephone.


15

In your sentence as amended, send is without a doubt in the present indicative tense (and it is not a conditional sentence). In English, however, the present tense does rather more than express what’s going on in the present. To talk about something that’s going on right now, we generally use be + the –ing form of the verb which describes the action or ...


13

The two sentences mean slightly different things. In the first case, it is understood that you don't intend to continue attending school. If I did not have to leave, I would have attended school for 5 years at the end of the year. In the second case, you express the belief or the confidence that you will still be in school at the end of the year. ...


12

Contrary to what you seem to think, wouldn't and won't are almost never interchangeable. The simple negative won't is used for future negative actions or for refusals. I won't go to the store tomorrow if it's raining. (Future negative.) I won't go to the dance with you. (Refusal.) The negative wouldn't is used for counterfactual statements, and for ...


11

1. If (conditional clause) acts as an adverbial phrase meaning "in this case": If you find a dragon, you will be scared. You will be scared if you find a dragon. (=You will be scared in this case) 2. Whether (conditional clause with OR required) acts as an adverbial phrase meaning "in any case": Whether you find a dragon or a unicorn, ...


11

Would is conditional/hypothetical. Will is a modal verb used to form the indicative future tense. In both cases, a) and b) are both correct, and carry a different meaning. When would is used, it expresses a hypothetical situation, so: What would I do without you? ... asks a question about a hypothetical possibility - that I would be without you. ...


11

Yours is the correct option, but not because of clause order. The main difference is that you use if ... then I will, and your friend uses I would... if. Both the following are correct: If you don't fix the bug I will send you a patch. I will send you a patch if you don't fix the bug. However, replacing the will with would makes either one ...


11

Even were he not to care himself. . . is an alternative way of saying Even if he were not to care himself . . . The stress in the clause would naturally fall on not. Another example is Were he to work harder, he might make a success of his business instead of If he were to work harder, he might make a success of his business. It is a rather literary form, ...


10

The sentence you're looking for is: Will I fail if I don't study? The if-clause in English takes an ordinary present-tense verb in this construction. This is a present conditional, which indication a condition about a present or future action. You could also write this: Would I fail if I didn't study? This indicates a hypothetical condition. If ...


10

This topic seems to come up with some frequency here. Your teacher was overgeneralizing, I'm afraid. It's not wrong to use will this way; it's just that it may not mean what you want it to mean. In the case you mention, it means that you are commenting on the possibility that you may be willing to go there, which sounds at least odd, and seems very unlikely ...


10

Further to tchrist's answer, they're different, but it's more complicated than it looks. I want to play cricket: whether the option to play cricket is available or not, to play cricket is what I want to be doing right now. I don't want to be sitting at my boring office job wasting time on ELU; I want to play cricket, dammit. I would love to play cricket. I ...


10

It's a complex situation. Sentences like the presenting one are clearly intended to urge, if not impose, some kind of behavior on the addressee (though the addressee in this case is only a generic you, the same sense as one, but faluting a couple levels lower). So in that they are like imperatives. However, it can be shown (as I do in my paper) that they ...


8

The second sentence is definitely the correct one: If I change my mind, I'll let you know. You or your friends are probably confused because when "I'll let" is spoken, all those "L"s blend together and sound like "I let". Don't be fooled by that. Try the same tense with different words. Which sound correct to you? Incorrect: If I change my mind, I ...


8

I wouldn't. It sounds like half your sentence is missing. But you could alter the construction slightly to say: If you could, please ask her to send me a copy. The comma is key. It's shifting the emphasis from "It would be great if..." to a more request driven, "If you could, please..."


7

You seem to be confused both about terminology and tenses, so let's try to get this straight: For present hypotheticals we use a form that is technically referred to as the subjunctive. The subjunctive is identical to the simple past in most forms, but you'll notice that it differs for the first-person singular: If they were here, I would be happy. If ...


7

The NOAD reports the following notes about would and should: The traditional rule is that should is used with first person pronouns (I and we), as in "I said I should be late," and would is used with second and third persons (you, he, she, it, they), as in "you didn't say you would be late." In practice, however, would is normally used instead of should ...


7

No. It sounds old-fashioned, but searching through Google books for such phrases used in the 1800s, I did not find a single instance of anybody using "be it me" or "be it I" in this way. What you're looking for is "were it me" or "were it I"; this usage requires the past subjunctive and not the present subjunctive. Here are some examples: Why, were it ...


7

Yes, the moods are different: want is in the indicative mood. would love is (arguably) in the conditional mood, or perhaps the optative.


7

There is no difference in meaning between your first two examples. However, the construction with were to see is more formal and slightly antiquated. However, there is a difference between your second two examples, namely that this one is not grammatically correct: *If you would have seen a lion in a thick forest, what would have you done? In English ...


7

As I often say, this topic seems to come up with some frequency here. The answer lies in the different Deontic 'be willing to (do)' and Epistemic 'be expected to (occur)' senses that will has; only the Deontic sense is allowed in If-clauses. Every modal auxiliary verb has at least one Epistemic and one Deontic sense, and they often have very different ...


7

The preposition But for x be expanded as: if x had not existed or if x had not happened This makes but for the equivalent of the third (remote) conditional where the main clause contains the would have construction. On this basis your third case is correct: But for (If I hadn't drunk) the glass of wine I had for dinner, I would have got the house ...


6

While they are almost interchangeable, there are indeed subtle differences: 'Whether' supports the conjunction 'or' for choice while 'if' traditionally does not, so although the sentences often seem to have the same meaning, you should use 'if' where the sentence is conditional and 'whether' where it presents two possibilities. Examples: Tell me if you'll ...


6

Use and that when confusion might result from the use of and alone. With your example, one might read: Manchester United will win the title on Saturday, provided that Aston Villa beat Liverpool and Arsenal... ...thinking that Aston Villa must beat two teams, Liverpool and Arsenal; upon encountering the word "beat" again, the reader might become ...


6

Traditionally, it is considered neither, though it is sometimes called a mood for lack of a better word. The word function would seem the best term. I am assuming that you are talking about the word would in your example. The adjective "conditional" just means "related to a condition"; when used as a noun, it usually refers to a function of the past ...


6

You don't need to replace it with anything as it is officially a perfectly grammatical usage of would: Would (3): Used to; was or were habitually accustomed to ( + bare infinitive); indicating an action in the past that happened repeatedly or commonly. [from 9th c.] The example from the Wiktionary: When we were kids we would sit by the radio with a ...


6

A standard way to say this in the US is If I'd known you were coming, I wouldn't have come. You cannot contract "you were" to "you're"; this contraction is reserved for "you are". However, "I had" can be contracted to "I'd", and I suspect it usually would be in speech.


6

Books for foreign learners of English describe sentences like If I ever become a musician, I will grow my hair as the First Conditional and sentences like If I ever became a musician, I would grow my hair as the Second Conditional. The First Conditional predicts a likely event if the condition introduced by if is fulfilled. In the Second Conditional the ...



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