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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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how do we express something not true in the past?

If I were a bird, I would fly. Here, if I were a bird means I am not a bird. Because I am not a bird I will not fly. Here, there is nothing that's "in the past". It's all in the present and not true. ...
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Present Unreal Conditional and speaking about present

I would like to ask, if the sentence below is grammatical and how can we understand this sentence: If the car was sold in the last week, you wouldn't see this in the public database yet. Also, can ...
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False conditionals?

I would like to ask, what kind of grammatical constructions do we have in sentences below. I can't figure out how these sentences works. The first one: If you think you can kill me, I would like ...
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What type of if-conditional is: “A shop offered us a reduction if we paid in cash.”?

What type of if-conditional is this sentence? A shop offered us a reduction if we paid in cash. As far as I know, the only right conditional sentences are these four: Zero Conditional: A shop ...
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tough conditional

My friend told me that she wanted to do something interesting tonight but she is too tired. I replied: what would you like to have done? if you werent so tired? This seems incorrect to me. Am I ...
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Complicated conditional

I'm wondering which of these sentences is correct: "If I had been asked to predict whether their marriage would last, I wouldn't have predicted that they would be together for twenty years." "If I ...
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What is the meaning of the statement “Tigers and lions attack if they are hungry or threatened.”?

Does it mean: 1. If a tiger/lion is hungry or threatened, it certainly WILL attack. or does it mean: 2. A tiger/lion will attack ONLY if it is hungry or threatened (and never otherwise). I ...
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When using “only if”, where is “only” allowed to be placed?

I'm having difficulties understanding how to use the "only" in "only if" correctly. For the following examples, I think I understand what the first two mean, but I'm unsure about the last one. ...
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Use of “may” or “might” and their inherent semantic difference

Under the American Heritage Dictionary's usage note for the verb "might" it says: Usage Note: May or might? In many situations, the choice between these two verbs can be clarified by remembering ...
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“was” as a past subjunctive

I'd like to know whether "was" should be treated as a subjunctive in the following: a. If there were a 20-story office building without an elevator, those whose office was on the 18th floor would ...
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Why does the author use ‘would’ in “I would kill him inchmeal just now”?

I am a sanguinary murderer of time, and would kill him inchmeal just now. But the snake is vital. I'm confused because of "just now". Doesn't that mean 'a short while ago'? If so, why is there 'would'...
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“as if” or “like” in this sentence?

I want to ask a question. In this sentence, should it be "as if" or "like"? It sounded wrong to me. "You may not be doing what you feel as if you're called to do right now." or "You may not ...
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Even after + present perfect vs present simple

I came across the following sentence posted at the city of Melbourne public transportation rules, referring to the duties of the transportation officers: They can check your ticket and concession ...
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what kind of conditional are these sentences?

1)if he really is my clone he would never want that 2)if that the case i would recommend ... I've seen these sentences in an Anime and I think they are ok,but I don't know if they are conditional or ...
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what is the correct use of “when vs If”?

Stop work and initiate emergency response when unplanned contact with a buried facility occurs. OR Stop work and initiate emergency response if unplanned contact with a buried facility occurs.
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Can I use “should” in this particular sentence?

You are feeling ill. I would stay at home if I were you. Can I replace would with should? Like this: You are feeling ill. I should stay at home if I were you. It seems illogical to me; however I ...
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A Strange Conditional: “I couldn’t have talked to her that day if I never talked to her again”

In The Great Gatsby, thus pens Fitzgerald: ‘However—I want to see you.’ ‘I want to see you too.’ ‘Suppose I don’t go to Southampton, and come into town this afternoon?’ ‘No—I don’t think this ...
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If X or [if] Y - Should I extend conditional after “or”?

I have a message to write where the recipient may encounter two problems. It is currently written like this: "If you are having problem X or if you are having problem Y please contact Z." I'm not ...
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condition actions in the future

I am having a problem defining the British English grammar used here. The context is that I am chatting with my brother about taking my sister to see the sequel to a film and I do know if she has ...
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Are there past and future equivalents of the “zero conditional”?

All English grammar coursebooks I have seen state that the Zero Conditional refers to something that is always true (and therefore is always certain) and has the form “Present Simple + Present Simple”....
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What does the phrase “to be only able to do X for subset Y is unacceptable” mean?

What does the phrase “to be only able to do X for subset Y is unacceptable” mean? Does it mean that the speaker is against doing X? Or that they think effort should be made to expand X for other ...
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Subjunctive mood and conditionals confusion

I know the type 2 conditional where you have to change thhe verb from the if clause to the simple past. However this sentence confuses me. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be enjoying the ...
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conditional phrases

I am confused regarding conditional. I know, for example, if I say: If he had not insulted me, I wouldn't have slapped him. this means in reality, he insulted me and I slapped him, but if I am ...
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Question about the main clause of conditionals [duplicate]

I know the four types of conditionals. In the if clause, I know that “if” could be replaced by “when” and “should”. On the other hand, I do not know if this would be possible with the main clause. Can ...
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should you have (conditionals)

If you had wanted to cancel the reservation, you would not have gotten a full refund. Should you have wanted to cancel the reservation, you would not have gotten a full refund. I can't ...
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If this will… or if this would [duplicate]

Can someone tell me which is grammatically sound in this context -- would or will? I've looked through some of the responses to similar questions, but the explanations weren't too clear for a non-...
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“would” as an auxiliary for present tense conditionals

Both of these sentences feel wrong to me: if I am alone, I will go today if I would be alone, I will go today By looking up some rules, it seems that using would in the protasis is a common mistake,...
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‘If’ conditional [closed]

If I lived in that house, I would be able to grow some plants in the big garden. If I were living in that house, I would be able to grow some plants in that big garden. The 2nd ‘If’ Conditional is ...
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I would have felt that I was or were?

I'm not sure whether to use the past tense or the conditional in this construction below. I found the answers to the exam, but I didn't look at them because I would have felt that I was (or were?)...
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Limitations of 'unless' in remote conditionals

Regarding the use of unless in a remote conditional*, The Cambridge Grammar (p755) says: Unless occurs in open conditionals and, less freely, remote ones: [52] ... iv I wouldn't ...
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“if our photographer was” or “is” or “were”?

"Although you are more than welcome to take photos today, it would be appreciated if our photographer was/is/were given the best opportunity to photograph the happy couple." Which one is correct, ...
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Usage of 'if' in two sentences

'It may be wondered if the scope is too wide.' 'It may be wondered if the scope is not too wide.' Do these two sentences mean the same thing?
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Combined sentences, “not …, either … or …” v.s. “not …, neither … nor …”

Generally, given that there are two statements are true: A is not O in X. A is not O in Y. Question: To combine the two sentences into one, should one say which of the following (?): A is ...
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The meaning of “were to” in the remote conditional

CGEL* (Page 753) says [46] i a. #If it is to rain, I’ll cancel the show. b. If it were to rain, I’d cancel the show. There is an idiomatic use of what we call ‘quasi-modal be’ that occurs only ...
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Is the Subjunctive Mood always a conditional statement? [duplicate]

I had exam and they asked: I would go to the library every day, if I ____ you. Options: were was I came to know upon reading that question was in subjunctive mood. So, my question is what is the ...
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Can the modal 'must' be used in the apodosis of a remote conditional?

CGEL* has this on page 149: The open conditional is the default type, while remote conditionals have the following properties: [3] i Subordinate clause: must contain a preterite (or irrealis ...
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Can subject–auxiliary inversion in conditionals be used with non-auxiliary (arbitrary) verbs?

Can I say something like Come you there, I'll get you. ? Or should I only say something like Should you come there, I'll get you. ? I understand that it looks like I must use an auxiliary ...
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Questions about “To hear him speak French, you would think he was French” [closed]

Question A Is the sentence "To hear him speak French, you would think he was French" gramatical or marginal? Question B Do the sentence "To hear him speak French, you would think he was French" ...
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“I wonder, if I pushed the top of her head, would aerosol spray out of her mouth.”

In Kathryn Stockett's The Help one of the main characters Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan speculates about mate's hair: I wonder, if I pushed the top of her head, would aerosol spray out of her mouth. ...
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a conditional sentence with “had + past participle” in both the apodosis and the protasis

In older texts one finds this construction, which one may be tempted to call the past conditional second form (after the example of le conditionnel passé deuxième forme): If you had lied to me, I ...
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“Whether or not…” vs. “whether… or not”

I'm confused with the placement of 'or not' with 'whether' in a sentence. E.g. I'm not sure whether I should go or not. I'm not sure whether or not I should go. Whether you stay or ...
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Conditional type 2

Lady Gaga says: I would fall apart if you break my heart. Should it not be 'broke' instead of 'break' like a type 2 conditional sentence?
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Where does negation go with “if” vs “unless”?

1(Q) - Unless he finds a job soon, his family will starve. 1(A) - If he doesn't find a job soon, his family will starve. 2(Q) - Unless she leaves now, she will miss the train. 2(A) - If she ...
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Mixed conditionals - Future / Future

It is the first time that I ask a question, thanks in advance to whoever is going to reply. I am studying conditional sentences and I cannot find anywhere a structure for a hypotethical future ...
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Conditional sentences in the past

In conditional sentences to denote a condition in the present if+past tense and a modal(in the past form)+ the first form of verb is used.As - If I had money I would open a library. To denote a ...
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Mixing type 1 and type 2 conditionals

So recently I've came across a sentence like the following: "If you (have) ruined my skirt, I will slap you." A possible context for this could be a situation where you had given a skirt to your ...
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Usage of “if you would”

In a recent conversation the following sentence came up: I would be honored if you would join me there, {name}. A friend of mine stated that this is grammatically wrong and the correct way ...
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Conditional conundrum

A friend and I are having a debate about a most perplexing piece of English grammar. Now, I am a native English speaker, and he is Polish - this means that he is rather clued up on the grammatical ...
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Is “would you like to … ?” an example of the conditional mood?

Edit: More Context: At least one other Indo-European language (Latvian) uses a morphological conditional mood for the politely enquiring about desired future states: vai tu gribētu ... ? Is equivalent ...
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Question about Conditional Sentences [closed]

"I could not create if it was" The above sentence is from a movie, and is apparently relates to conditional sentences, as for my knowledge. There are five types of conditional sentences that I have ...