4

I wonder how many conditional sentence types are possible. Basically, there are four main and two mixed types. By mixing tenses, it could be up to nine of them. Are the rest viable?

I came across the following examples in Full Spate Pre-Profficiency Primer:

  • After you have just sold alcohol to a young guy. If he is if under eighteen, you should not have sold him the alcohol.

  • If he promised to bring the drinks, he will.

  • If you will take a seat, the doctor will see you shortly. (Likely, the former will demonstrates politeness only.)

  • I would be grateful if you would tell me a little about your friends. (The same politeness, but would instead.)

  • If he will keep eating all those biscuits, he can not expect to stay as slim as he used to be.

I would be grateful if someone could shed more light on the topic.

  • 3
    It depends on how you want to classify them. The 'canonical' 1st-2nd-3rd system (which is a pedagogical device, not a grammatical description) rests entirely on tense, but as Declerck and Reed note (Conditionals..., 2001), "There are at least three dozen ways in which conditionals of these three tense patterns (taken together) can be interpreted." There are many many more distinctions to be drawn: modal, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 27 '16 at 19:59
7

Last time I counted them, I found two hundred and seventy-seven English conditionals. There are of course others.

See this answer for details.

         I: If he will jump, you will not have to.
        II: If he will jump, he can win.
       III: If he will jump, he may win.
        IV: If he will jump, you must follow.
         V: If he will jump, you dare not follow.
        VI: If he will jump, you need not follow.

       VII: If he would escape, let him find help.
      VIII: If he would escape, he will find help.
        IX: If he would escape, he shall find help.
         X: If he would escape, he should find help.
        XI: If he would escape, he would find help.
       XII: If he would escape, he must find help.
      XIII: If he would escape, he can find help.
       XIV: If he would escape, he could find help.
        XV: If he would escape, he dare not find help.
       XVI: If he would escape, he need not find help.

      XVII: If he escapes, catch him.
     XVIII: If he escapes, you can catch him.
       XIX: If he escapes, you catch him.
        XX: If he escapes, you could catch him.
       XXI: If he escapes, you may catch him.
      XXII: If he escapes, you might catch him.
     XXIII: If he escapes, you must catch him.
      XXIV: If he escapes, you shall catch him.
       XXV: If he escapes, you should catch him.
      XXVI: If he escapes, you will catch him.
     XXVII: If he escapes, you would catch him.

    XXVIII: If he does escape, catch him.
      XXIX: If he does escape, you can catch him.
       XXX: If he does escape, you catch him.
      XXXI: If he does escape, you could catch him.
     XXXII: If he does escape, you may catch him.
    XXXIII: If he does escape, you might catch him.
     XXXIV: If he does escape, you must catch him.
      XXXV: If he does escape, you shall catch him.
     XXXVI: If he does escape, you should catch him.
    XXXVII: If he does escape, you will catch him.
   XXXVIII: If he does escape, you would catch him.

     XXXIX: If he should escape, catch him.
        XL: If he should escape, you can catch him.
       XLI: If he should escape, you catch him.
      XLII: If he should escape, you could catch him.
     XLIII: If he should escape, you may catch him.
      XLIV: If he should escape, you might catch him.
       XLV: If he should escape, you must catch him.
      XLVI: If he should escape, you shall catch him.
     XLVII: If he should escape, you should catch him.
    XLVIII: If he should escape, you will catch him.
      XLIX: If he should escape, you would catch him.

         L: If he escape, catch him.
        LI: If he escape, you can catch him.
       LII: If he escape, you catch him.
      LIII: If he escape, you could catch him.
       LIV: If he escape, you may catch him.
        LV: If he escape, you might catch him.
       LVI: If he escape, you must catch him.
      LVII: If he escape, you shall catch him.
     LVIII: If he escape, you should catch him.
       LIX: If he escape, you will catch him.
        LX: If he escape, you would catch him.

       LXI: If he dare escape, catch him.
      LXII: If he dare escape, you can catch him.
     LXIII: If he dare escape, you catch him.
      LXIV: If he dare escape, you could catch him.
       LXV: If he dare escape, you may catch him.
      LXVI: If he dare escape, you might catch him.
     LXVII: If he dare escape, you must catch him.
    LXVIII: If he dare escape, you shall catch him.
      LXIX: If he dare escape, you should catch him.
       LXX: If he dare escape, you will catch him.
      LXXI: If he dare escape, you would catch him.

     LXXII: Should he escape, catch him.
    LXXIII: Should he escape, you can catch him.
     LXXIV: Should he escape, you catch him.
      LXXV: Should he escape, you could catch him.
     LXXVI: Should he escape, you may catch him.
    LXXVII: Should he escape, you might catch him.
   LXXVIII: Should he escape, you must catch him.
     LXXIX: Should he escape, you shall catch him.
      LXXX: Should he escape, you should catch him.
     LXXXI: Should he escape, you will catch him.
    LXXXII: Should he escape, you would catch him.

   LXXXIII: Dare he escape, catch him.
    LXXXIV: Dare he escape, you can catch him.
     LXXXV: Dare he escape, you catch him.
    LXXXVI: Dare he escape, you could catch him.
   LXXXVII: Dare he escape, you may catch him.
  LXXXVIII: Dare he escape, you might catch him.
    LXXXIX: Dare he escape, you must catch him.
        XC: Dare he escape, you shall catch him.
       XCI: Dare he escape, you should catch him.
      XCII: Dare he escape, you will catch him.
     XCIII: Dare he escape, you would catch him.

      XCIV: If he has escaped, follow him.
       XCV: If he has escaped, he could fall.
      XCVI: If he has escaped, he dare not fail.
     XCVII: If he has escaped, he has fallen.
    XCVIII: If he has escaped, he may have fallen.
      XCIX: If he has escaped, he might fall.
         C: If he has escaped, he might have fallen.
        CI: If he has escaped, he must have fallen.
       CII: If he has escaped, he need not know.
      CIII: If he has escaped, he will have fallen.
       CIV: If he has escaped, he would fall.
        CV: If he has escaped, you can follow.
       CVI: If he has escaped, you could follow.
      CVII: If he has escaped, you may follow.
     CVIII: If he has escaped, you might follow.
       CIX: If he has escaped, you must follow.
        CX: If he has escaped, you shall follow.
       CXI: If he has escaped, you should follow.
      CXII: If he has escaped, you will follow.
     CXIII: If he has escaped, you would follow.

      CXIV: If he escaped, he fell.
       CXV: If he escaped, follow him.
      CXVI: If he escaped, he could fall.
     CXVII: If he escaped, he durst not fall.
    CXVIII: If he escaped, he has fallen.
      CXIX: If he escaped, he may have fallen.
       CXX: If he escaped, he might fall.
      CXXI: If he escaped, he might have fallen.
     CXXII: If he escaped, he must have fallen.
    CXXIII: If he escaped, he need not fall.
     CXXIV: If he escaped, he will have fallen.
      CXXV: If he escaped, he would have fallen.
     CXXVI: If he escaped, he would fall.
    CXXVII: If he escaped, you can follow.
   CXXVIII: If he escaped, you could follow.
     CXXIX: If he escaped, you may follow.
      CXXX: If he escaped, you might follow.
     CXXXI: If he escaped, you must follow.
    CXXXII: If he escaped, you shall follow.
   CXXXIII: If he escaped, you should follow.
    CXXXIV: If he escaped, you will follow.
     CXXXV: If he escaped, you would follow.

    CXXXVI: If he did escape, he fell.
   CXXXVII: If he did escape, follow him.
  CXXXVIII: If he did escape, he could fall.
    CXXXIX: If he did escape, he durst not fall.
       CXL: If he did escape, he has fallen.
      CXLI: If he did escape, he may have fallen.
     CXLII: If he did escape, he might fall.
    CXLIII: If he did escape, he might have fallen.
     CXLIV: If he did escape, he must have fallen.
      CXLV: If he did escape, he need not fall.
     CXLVI: If he did escape, he will have fallen.
    CXLVII: If he did escape, he would have fallen.
   CXLVIII: If he did escape, he would fall.
     CXLIX: If he did escape, you can follow.
        CL: If he did escape, you could follow.
       CLI: If he did escape, you may follow.
      CLII: If he did escape, you might follow.
     CLIII: If he did escape, you must follow.
      CLIV: If he did escape, you shall follow.
       CLV: If he did escape, you should follow.
      CLVI: If he did escape, you will follow.
     CLVII: If he did escape, you would follow.

    CLVIII: Did he escape, he fell.
      CLIX: Did he escape, follow him.
       CLX: Did he escape, he could fall.
      CLXI: Did he escape, he durst not fall.
     CLXII: Did he escape, he has fallen.
    CLXIII: Did he escape, he may have fallen.
     CLXIV: Did he escape, he might fall.
      CLXV: Did he escape, he might have fallen.
     CLXVI: Did he escape, he must have fallen.
    CLXVII: Did he escape, he need not fall.
   CLXVIII: Did he escape, he will have fallen.
     CLXIX: Did he escape, he would have fallen.
      CLXX: Did he escape, he would fall.
     CLXXI: Did he escape, you can follow.
    CLXXII: Did he escape, you could follow.
   CLXXIII: Did he escape, you may follow.
    CLXXIV: Did he escape, you might follow.
     CLXXV: Did he escape, you must follow.
    CLXXVI: Did he escape, you shall follow.
   CLXXVII: Did he escape, you should follow.
  CLXXVIII: Did he escape, you will follow.
    CLXXIX: Did he escape, you would follow.

     CLXXX: If he durst escape, he fell.
    CLXXXI: If he durst escape, follow him.
   CLXXXII: If he durst escape, he could fall.
  CLXXXIII: If he durst escape, he durst not fall.
   CLXXXIV: If he durst escape, he has fallen.
    CLXXXV: If he durst escape, he may have fallen.
   CLXXXVI: If he durst escape, he might fall.
  CLXXXVII: If he durst escape, he might have fallen.
 CLXXXVIII: If he durst escape, he must have fallen.
   CLXXXIX: If he durst escape, he need not fall.
       CXC: If he durst escape, he will have fallen.
      CXCI: If he durst escape, he would have fallen.
     CXCII: If he durst escape, he would fall.
    CXCIII: If he durst escape, you can follow.
     CXCIV: If he durst escape, you could follow.
      CXCV: If he durst escape, you may follow.
     CXCVI: If he durst escape, you might follow.
    CXCVII: If he durst escape, you must follow.
   CXCVIII: If he durst escape, you shall follow.
     CXCIX: If he durst escape, you should follow.
        CC: If he durst escape, you will follow.
       CCI: If he durst escape, you would follow.

      CCII: Durst he escape, he fell.
     CCIII: Durst he escape, follow him.
      CCIV: Durst he escape, he could fall.
       CCV: Durst he escape, he durst not fall.
      CCVI: Durst he escape, he has fallen.
     CCVII: Durst he escape, he may have fallen.
    CCVIII: Durst he escape, he might fall.
      CCIX: Durst he escape, he might have fallen.
       CCX: Durst he escape, he must have fallen.
      CCXI: Durst he escape, he need not fall.
     CCXII: Durst he escape, he will have fallen.
    CCXIII: Durst he escape, he would have fallen.
     CCXIV: Durst he escape, he would fall.
      CCXV: Durst he escape, you can follow.
     CCXVI: Durst he escape, you could follow.
    CCXVII: Durst he escape, you may follow.
   CCXVIII: Durst he escape, you might follow.
     CCXIX: Durst he escape, you must follow.
      CCXX: Durst he escape, you shall follow.
     CCXXI: Durst he escape, you should follow.
    CCXXII: Durst he escape, you will follow.
   CCXXIII: Durst he escape, you would follow.

    CCXXIV: If he had escaped, he could have known.
     CCXXV: If he had escaped, he might have known.
    CCXXVI: If he had escaped, he should have known.
   CCXXVII: If he had escaped, he would have known.

  CCXXVIII: Had he escaped, he could have known.
    CCXXIX: Had he escaped, he might have known.
     CCXXX: Had he escaped, he should have known.
    CCXXXI: Had he escaped, he would have known.

   CCXXXII: If he were to escape, he could fall.
  CCXXXIII: If he were to escape, he dare not fall.
   CCXXXIV: If he were to escape, he might fall.
    CCXXXV: If he were to escape, he must not fall.
   CCXXXVI: If he were to escape, he would fall.

  CCXXXVII: Were he to escape, he could fall.
 CCXXXVIII: Were he to escape, he dare not fall.
   CCXXXIX: Were he to escape, he might fall.
      CCXL: Were he to escape, he must not fall.
     CCXLI: Were he to escape, he would fall.

    CCXLII: If he can jump, he can escape.
   CCXLIII: If he can jump, he will escape.
    CCXLIV: If he can jump, he shall escape.
     CCXLV: If he can jump, he should escape.
    CCXLVI: If he can jump, he may escape.
   CCXLVII: If he can jump, he might escape.
  CCXLVIII: If he can jump, he must escape.

    CCXLIX: If he could jump, he escaped.
       CCL: If he could jump, he did escape.
      CCLI: If he could jump, he could escape.
     CCLII: If he could jump, he would escape.
    CCLIII: If he could jump, he might escape.
     CCLIV: If he could jump, he will have escaped.
      CCLV: If he could jump, he may have escaped.
     CCLVI: If he could jump, he must have escaped.
    CCLVII: If he could jump, he should have escaped.

   CCLVIII: If he might jump, he could escape.
     CCLIX: If he might jump, he would escape.
      CCLX: If he might jump, he might escape.

     CCLXI: If he will have jumped, he will have perished.
    CCLXII: If he might have jumped, you would have stopped him.
   CCLXIII: If he would have jumped, you would have had to catch him.
    CCLXIV: If he could have jumped, he would have done so.
     CCLXV: If he should have jumped, you would have had to catch him.

    CCLXVI: Might he have jumped, he would have stopped him.
   CCLXVII: Could he have jumped, he would have done so.
  CCLXVIII: Should he have jumped, you would have had to catch him.

    CCLXIX: But cut the wrong wire and he regrets it the rest of his life.
     CCLXX: But cut the wrong wire and he need not live to regret it.
    CCLXXI: But cut the wrong wire and he dare not live to regret it.
   CCLXXII: But cut the wrong wire and he will regret it the rest of his life.
  CCLXXIII: But cut the wrong wire and he would regret it the rest of his life.
   CCLXXIV: But cut the wrong wire and he shall regret it the rest of his life.
    CCLXXV: But cut the wrong wire and he should regret it the rest of his life.
   CCLXXVI: But cut the wrong wire and he may regret it the rest of his life.
  CCLXXVII: But cut the wrong wire and he might regret it the rest of his life.

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