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Questions tagged [conditionals]

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

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Mid-sentence phrase where you need 1 of 2 things but could also have both as well

I have been losing sleep over this, I have used this string of words before but can not think of it the best way I can describe it is in the title I believe it uses a combination of “if, and, or” and ...
Airic's user avatar
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What part of a subjunctive sentence is actually in the subjunctive?

In my studies of French I noticed the subjunctive mood is talked about almost exclusively in the context of dependent clauses which take the form of "que/qui + verb in the subjunctive". It ...
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Tense usage in counterfactual conditionals with non-counterfactual clauses

Imagine the following situation: My superior is to come with an inspection is a few hours. The visit is expected to be quite unpleasant and therefore I write to my absent coworker to urge him to come: ...
Anton Popov's user avatar
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Is the irrealis 'were' used in the dependent clauses of conditionals?

I'm already aware that directly inside of an if-clause, it is common to use the irrealis 'were.' Take the following sentence for example: If he were taller, he might walk faster. My question is ...
Grog De Frog's user avatar
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Present simple or future conditional

While writing a research proposal, I encountered the following issue. Consider the following two variants: Present simple: I would like to measure X. Finding evidence that X is large is helpful to ...
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Dependent clause comma (Following an independent clause)

I rather hope this is not too basic a question for this forum (or that it is erroneous altogether!) We have this sentence: Keith did not know what to make of this apparatus, if it was meant to ...
Nayru Triforce's user avatar
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tense of that-clause in conditional

I was writing a comment under a video about a series which I used to watch ten years ago. I was writing that if I were watching them for the first time today, I would not enjoy as much as I did years ...
RADS's user avatar
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Why is the subjunctive mood considered tenseless? Is "would be able to" not explicitly a future (perfect) construction?

I've read through the responses on this question, but I don't feel like they address the idea that English subjunctive clauses lack inflection (per Wikipedia). I'm looking at this sentence, for ...
Bobadabebe Ih'tsaboih's user avatar
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I would like to understand a sentence in 'The Catcher in the Rye' [closed]

I am having trouble following correctly this part of the book as to its logic it refers to. M'boy, if I felt any better, I'd have to send for the doctor... At first, it says under condition that if ...
PROCESIONES CELESTES's user avatar
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Third conditional rules. I believe I came across a mistake in an english teaching book [duplicate]

I came across this sentence in "American English file 3" and I'm wondering if it's written incorrectly or if there's something I don't understand about the third conditional: "If I'd ...
Afaq Nafar's user avatar
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Does "If someone should do" stand for "if by any chance someone does" or "if by any chance someone did"?

"If you should find that book, could you keep it for me?" Such a sentence could be said to contain a first conditional (hypothetical but probable) "If, by any chance, you find that ...
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Two Infinitives in a Row, but Dropping “To”?

Was just thinking about English vs. Spanish and thought about the following sentence: “We can try to run” In Spanish, I believe this translates as: “Podemos intentar correr” In Spanish, intentar and ...
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A comma before "if"

So, I have a sentence, You can show it to him, if you haven't done it already. My reasoning for this comma is that I don't really put a condition per se before my interlocutor, I'm merely saying &...
Leroy's user avatar
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Conditional structure – “hadn't have gone”? “hadn't have met”? [duplicate]

Recently I saw two interviews, one with Victoria Beckham, the other one with Elton John. They were talking about their past experiences and that's the phrasing they used: But it wouldn't have ...
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Verb tense in Phineas and Ferb song “History of Rock”

I've been learning English for decades but I still don't get how its verb tenses work. The Phineas and Ferb episode “Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together” has the song “History of Rock”. In its ...
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Reality or unreality-if you had seen the notices next day in all the papers, you must have supposed my evening's entertainment an unqualified success [closed]

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter VI, published 1892) Passage 96 Pinkerton was in the waiting-room, feverishly jotting in his pocket-book. As he saw me enter, he ...
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How to use Past Conditional in "It would have been better if my brother had died rather than struck a bargain in the red desert"?

I'm not sure if there's a better way to say this: It would have been better if my brother had died rather than struck a bargain in the red desert. Am I using that right? Ugh! Help me please. This is ...
Jackie Bridges's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can we mix past perfect, present progressive, etc. in conditionals? [duplicate]

Is it acceptable / possible to mix past perfect, present progressive, etc. in conditionals? In particular: The 2nd conditional (apologies to those who reject this common but by no means universal ...
user488134's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it ever grammatically correct to use "hadn't had + V3"?

I know about the 4 types of conditionals, and this usage is not one of them. I have not seen any such example, but somehow it sounds a little correct, while seeming totally wrong. So I was just ...
Gokay Huz's user avatar
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"provided that there be" vs. "provided that there is"

Which sentence is grammatically correct? "Be" or "is"? Retail stores for the sale of goods are allowed in this zone provided that there BE no outside display, storage, or sale of ...
Derek Rubinoff's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is this sentence is a conditional? "Marta on if she would ever make a tinder account" [closed]

Is it correct to use this struct? (If + noun + would) I was looking for any examples of this structure, and every time I received an answer that this is a conditional. I have also asked chatgpt, and ...
MioTo's user avatar
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Conditional from past perspective: "They realized that if X WAS . . ." or "They realized that if X WERE . . ."?

I'm wondering which of the following sentences is correct: They realized that if the threat WAS not contained, it could endanger the nation." They realized that if the threat WERE not contained, ...
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Express an uncertain action in the past using conditionals

I want to express the consequences of something which I am not sure actually happened in the past. intention: Maybe my brother studied, or maybe he didn't, but if he really did, then he will pass the ...
oopEnthusiast's user avatar
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Is "did" used conditionally, regionally or otherwise? e.g. "Did you want..." instead of "Would you want..."

My partner frequently asks me questions that, when read literally, are questions about the past, but in intent and intended response are actually conditional questions: Did you have any thoughts ...
Michelle C. Funk's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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Acceptability of concessive parenthetical if clause

Is the following sentence correct? They might build a community that, if it could not change the depressing nature of the work, could at least make the workplace more bearable. Is it okay to have ...
Anuraag Gopaluni's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
660 views

Whom can I trust, if not ____. a) he b) him which one is grammatical? [duplicate]

I know about the conditional sentences that go as following: "If I were he, I would have forgotten the whole lesson." In the sentence above, "he" is preferable to "him,"...
Ahmed's user avatar
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Conditional clause within a relative clause

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? The word "if" is not used in this sentence, which I'm not sure is a mistake or not. And if anyone has a link to a reference on conditional ...
Just Wondering's user avatar
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Conditional sentence in the song "What Makes You Beautiful" [closed]

A small part of the lyrics in the song "What Makes You Beautiful" is If only you saw what I can see, you'll understand why I want you so desperately. But according to the second ...
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What is this conditional-type sentence used to express reluctance or uncertainty?

The difference between "I can fix the computer" and "I could fix the computer" (present tense) is that the latter expresses more reluctance or doubt. What is this type of sentence ...
Stack Exchange Supports Israel's user avatar
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Grammatical error in the expression "what would occur without"

Background There is a system called YOLO which identifies objects in an image. For instance, YOLO can identify dog, bicycle, and car as objects in the image. Internally YOLO uses a neural network ...
mon's user avatar
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In "Jack will come to mother's house and will come to father's house so long as X", does "so long as…" apply to both preceding conditions?

I need to interpret the following sentence: With regard to Christmas this year, Jack will come to mother's house and will come to father's house so long as Jill does not have Covid. Does the "...
Jenette's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
548 views

Using "would" instead of "would have" with a past perfect subjunctive clause

I came across this youtube video with the following grammar question. Choose the correct sentence. a. If you had learned the lyrics, you would be singing in the choir. b. ... c. If you learned the ...
xiver77's user avatar
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'Would' to indicate that the information given is not absolutely certain

Page 60 of Learner English: A Teacher's Guide to Interference gives two example sentences that the author claims are ungrammatical uses of "would" when indicating uncertainty. *The ...
GJC's user avatar
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Conditional, is IF optional?

I’ve just read this sentence: Machines might decide the world would be better without humans. Why there is not an IF? Machines might decide IF the world…
Alex123's user avatar
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"If ​there is a god please help me"

What​ conditional is this​ ​sentence? If ​there is a god please help me. Is​ it​ real​ conditional? This explanation was taken from a website called VOA Learning English The present real ...
lemon's user avatar
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Could someone explain whether the following sentence is grammatically correct: " If you would have answered your phone, you would know smth.." [duplicate]

I ran into this sentence while watching a TV show. Context: One person tried to call another person, but the latter didn't answer. So the first person came to the other and said as mentioned above. In ...
Pavel Gulyaev's user avatar
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Is "should" in if-clause common in the USA?

I was wondering if the "should" in if-clause is commonly used nowadays, or if it's kinda outdated. E.g., If you should meet him, tell him he owes me.
Jon Stark's user avatar
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Is there a term for use of "would" conditional to indicate lack of precision?

In the Northern Irish dialect, a speaker can say You see, I would have been very shy, and his encouragement really helped me. Here, the "would have been" is used to indicate that the ...
goofballLogic's user avatar
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Is this correct to use would twice in if-then sentence? [duplicate]

Would it be grammatically correct if I would say: (see what I did there? :)) If I would be X >then< Y. E.g.: If I would be born in US I would be happier. ("then" is redundant so I ...
MaxPY's user avatar
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What's the meaning of "if" in this sentence?

“I have enormous faith and confidence in Merritt Paulson, who’s built from scratch one of the great sports teams, in any sport, in our country, if not throughout North America,” Garber said in ...
feng rao's user avatar
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Confusion with 'Would" [duplicate]

What could be the possible meaning of the sentence?: "If you would agree to my conditions, I would give you compensation." I would highly appreciate your response.
Mexal's user avatar
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Is it appropriate to follow the comma of an 'if' conditional with 'this'?

Looking for some guidance on the appropriate way to structure an 'if' conditional. The three examples we have on how to write a conditional: If you were to leave your windows open, this could make it ...
Nick Lauder's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Can Irrealis 'Were' Be Used in the Past Tense?

By reading The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, I have managed to gain an understanding of remote conditionals. My research has demonstrated that irrealis 'were' is ordinarily used in remote ...
MJ Ada's user avatar
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1 vote
6 answers
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The subjunctive in a hypothetical scenario of a historical event

To the prompt "What historical moment would you like to have participated in?", my ESL student chose a Queen Live Aid concert, saying: I’m a huge fan of Queen and Freddie Mercury so I think ...
Ao Lin's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why past tense for unreal present? [closed]

I was wondering why exactly past tense is used in the unreal present conditional (type 2). I once heard that past tense gives a sense of "distance" when contrasted with present, but I'm not ...
AllenZ's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
478 views

Why is "until" incorrect?

Choose between: The school will close **unless** it stops snowing soon. The school will close **until** it stops snowing soon. Just to be clear, "soon" is a given, and it does not refer to ...
meepyer's user avatar
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Past Tense after "if" [duplicate]

“A letter?” repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. “Really, Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He’ll be ...
Кирилл Мир's user avatar
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1 answer
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Could I replace "if" with "that“ in "the only way is if...."?

"We're the world's oldest democracy, and the only way that can come unraveled is if we have disrespect for institutions that lead to Americans turning on Americans," he said. What's the way?...
feng rao's user avatar
1 vote
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“Would not have” + past participle in a real reflection [closed]

Here is the situation: If there had been an apple, I wouldn’t have eaten it. ...is understood to mean: There wasn’t an apple; I therefore didn’t eat it. Building on this, can we use the imaginary ...
Wael Tarek Mohamed's user avatar
1 vote
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Role of "otherwise" in conditional sentences

I have a question about this test question: Chemotherapy given at the same time as radiation therapy can help patients with a certain type of lung cancer live nearly 50 percent longer than they .........
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