Questions tagged [conditionals]

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

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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 ...
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About conditional type 3 [migrated]

If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by February 1st, 1600. Doesn't this sentence have to be "if the first vampire had ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Past Tense after "if"

“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 ...
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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?...
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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 ...
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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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Using two if-part in a sentence

I've found a sentence and don't understand the grammar here. It's the first time I've seen two if conditions in one sentence. Can anybody explain what it was and what grammar was used in the sentence? ...
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Real Conditional Clause Plus Present Unreal Main Clause

Is it grammatical to say these four sentences? If I have studied it for four years, I should be good at it. If I had studied it for four years, I should be good at it. If I have been studying it ...
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"IF" CLAUSES and the use of WERE [duplicate]

I found this example in The Guardian: If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. Ruling out it is a hypothesis, I found it hard to understand the use of were in the sentence. Can somebody ...
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Why use subjunctive mood in 'all the force would be transferred back to the ship'?

When reading a discussion about whether the Titanic could have avoided sinking, I saw a sentence that puzzled me a lot, as following: – it would probably have survived. [When a ship hits an iceberg ...
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How to use the subjunctive mood here, where it seems like it might mix subjunctive and not subjunctive?

In the following sentence, how should the "to be" verbs be conjugated since the sentence is in the subjunctive mood? If it went over their heads once, then they’d soon forget what it was ...
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Which one should be used was or were?

Yesterday I was watching Harry Potter and noticed that Harry said I wouldn't bother you if it WEREN'T absolutely essential. Well, I know that "were" is mainly used when we are talking about ...
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If + Past Simple + Future Simple [closed]

I have come across the following quotation: If you knew how quickly people forget the dead... you will stop living to impress people. Do you think that there is a mistake here, and the word 'would' ...
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Purpose of conditional in context

What is the purpose of the conditional here? It is often said that mathematics is the language of science. If this is true, then an essential part of the language of mathematics is numbers. That ...
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Missing conditionals

When we talk about Unreal Past using The Third Conditional we know what really happened. Example: "If I hadn't had a lot of money, I wouldn't have gone with her that summer and we wouldn't be ...
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Is this tense usage correct, "you'll continue acting"?

if you'll continue acting like... I understand "if you continue to act like..." seems more logical, but is there a fault in the first sentence? I am focusing on the "act" part. ...
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“If” clauses with multiple verbs

Can someone tell me if the first sentence is grammatically correct and what are the differences between the three variations of the second? Imagine what would happen if she had told me I could choose ...
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Is using 'as if' okay as a sentence starter?

My teacher is having us write as if sentences and using as if at the start of the sentence. For example, she used "As if I had money, I went shopping". This makes no sense to me or several ...
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Commas in an if, or, then statement

For example, do I need the commas in the following sentence? If you use spectacles, or if you think you will require them within the next year or so, inform your supervisor. To me, this reads better ...
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2 answers
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Can a conditional sentence begin with "when"? [closed]

I would want to dispel my doubts about the grammaticality of the following sentence: When Andrew is there, he will probably have to be helped to climb the stairs. Some context: I know for certain ...
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What type of Conditional grammar is this? [closed]

In this sentence, if clause is present, but another clause comes with would. I wonder what type of conditional is this. If you’re exhausted from the hustles and bustles of life, and you need to take ...
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Conditionals, past perfect vs would [duplicate]

I was reading a book and I can't understand why past perfect is used in the sentence below: The signal from successive eclipse has less and less distance to travel, so it arrives earlier than if ...
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When can you use "if" in a sentence and it not be conditional? [closed]

I'm a little intimidated asking this on this website, being an engineer, but I've wondered this often the past few months so I wanted to ask. It seems that whenever "if" is used, then it ...
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Omission of if in a conditional phrase

This is an excerpt from Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. It is, however, clear that even this apprehension of the manifold alone would bring forth no image and no connection of the impressions were ...
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the only way is if~

I have never gotten to listen to one of those Parental Warning CDs, because Mom and Dad never let me buy them at the mall. So I realized the only way I was gonna get a chance to listen to Rodrick's CD ...
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Conditionals to express an action in the past if a condition been met

Can anyone please explain me if the following two sentences are grammatically correct? If so, how they differ in meaning? If I had gone back when I was unemployed for one year after my graduation, I ...
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Use of conditional and subjunctive in past tense narration [duplicate]

I am helping my friend with a story that is written in the past tense, and I've hit a snag with their uses of conditional and subjunctive. I could have sworn that I learned that you use "was"...
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"could" with the progressive aspect of a verb

Situation 1: My friends are playing outside. My leg is injured. Sitting at home, I'm thinking: It's pity that my leg is injured. I could be playing with them now. Situation 2: My friends are playing ...
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1 answer
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Is the sentence "just to help me if I'd paint" grammatically correct?

So I was just listening to this song by Lana Del Rey and she goes: "said he'd come back every May, just to help me if I'd paint" I can't really make sense of the "help me if I'd paint&...
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The usage of "on the condition that"

I know that I can use the phrase 'on the condition that' with if clauses such as He agreed to work on Saturdays on condition that he was paid overtime. But I'm not sure if I can use this structure ...
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If it's a page lead, I'll normally try to get hold of it [closed]

If it's a page lead, I'll normally try to get hold of it. If it's a summary I normally won't have time. I would normally read abstract and discussion, and skim the rest. If it's about quantum ...
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"If it were not for" and "if it had not been for": Which is more traditional?

Some use "if it were not for" to mean both the present and the past events, while others use "if it had not been for" for the past. For the former, see Oxford and be (verb) in OALD....
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Tenses in clauses with conditionals [closed]

If you could go back in time, what would you do so that you ___ your life lived without regrets? will have would have have would have had My questions: Is this a badly written sentence? How do I ...
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Timing of adverb after conditional

The sentence in question: Should you decide to decline the offer, the contract is terminated effective immediately. My question is about the timing of the word immediately. Would immediately refer to ...
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1 answer
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Only if-conditional sentences and inversion

As I was studying for my upcoming grammar exam, I stumbled across the following sentence: Your membership will only be renewed if you pay your subscription within the next seven days. Is it also ...
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Past Perfect Negative Plus Future Perfect while in the Present

Given the situation: I enjoy a podcast that has ended There is a bonus episode of the podcast that I am not aware of that, if I were aware, I would listen to it Somebody tells me about the existence ...
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Question on use of the 'first' conditional in the past (no modal involved)

Which conditional is this? If John did not come to work yesterday, he was probably ill. I would hazard a guess that it is a first conditional as there is a fair probability that John being ill was ...
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As if and as though

A few weeks ago one of my friends looked at my daughter and said "She looks as if she is not your daughter" is it correct to use present tense in a situation like that? The thing is that she ...
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Need help with the sentence [closed]

I would like to ask which one of the following sentences are grammatically correct? And any suggestions for similar context would be greatly appreciated. Without WikiLeaks or Julian Assange, the ...
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The peculiarities of using Type2/Type3 Conditionals with regard to the shifting of tenses

When making out sentences in narration of the past time events and implementing the Conditional Mood, shall the time shift principles be observed? For example: [conveying the idea of unreal condition ...
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If he got the job, he would be very happy now

Consider this, please: Person A: My brother was supposed to appear for an interview at 8am, and now it's 10. I don't know if he got the job or not. But one thing is for sure, If he got the job, he ...
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Tenses in dependent clauses with conditionals

From wikipedia: Apart from the special cases referred to in the sections above, many other dependent clauses use a tense that might not logically be expected – in particular the present tense is used ...
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Looking for an answer in regards to POSSIBLY a present perfect in a first conditional sentence

My question is about this one sentence which has been driving me crazy. I found a discussion on here about present perfect in a first consditional sentences. "If I've...., I'll be able to, etc..&...
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Two overlapping meanings of "will"

The verb "will" has many overtones and meanings but I want to bring up these two: If you will help me open the door, I will take the desk out. "If you will help" means "If ...
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If John had taken it, he would have let me know

Person A: Where is my car? Person B: I don't know. Maybe John took it. Person A: If John took it, he would have let me know. Person A: If John took it, he will have let me know. Person A: If John ...
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scope of subordinate clauses

I have a complex sentence with multiple subordinate clauses: Can one subordinate clause encapsulate another or is each subordinate clause equal and independent to each other: I will go running when it ...
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nested if clauses [duplicate]

If I have 2 "if statements" next to each other, does the last "if" statement become embedded within the first "if statement"? For example, "I will swim only if I go ...
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Does the if clause modify "I will play the violin" even though the clauses are not next to each other?

I will play the violin when I am at the park if my fingers are not sore today. Is the "if" clause modifying "I will play the violin" even though these clauses are not next to each ...

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