79 votes
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When to use "If I was" vs. "If I were"?

SYNOPSIS: Sometimes it must be “if I was”, but at other times it can be “if I were” — and for some speakers in those cases, perhaps even must be “if I were” in their idiolect. Sentences with the ...
tchrist's user avatar
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66 votes
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Can "would" be used twice in an English conditional sentence and still be grammatical?

Use of deontic would in the protasis and epistemic would in the apodosis: “If you would all PLEASE take your seats, we would actually be able to get started on time for once.” Non-native speakers ...
tchrist's user avatar
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47 votes

Can "would" be used twice in an English conditional sentence and still be grammatical?

I can think of five hundred ways to destroy him: how I would would not be a problem. Disclaimer: Not a native speaker.
jick's user avatar
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33 votes

Can "would" be used twice in an English conditional sentence and still be grammatical?

"Would you ever use would twice in a sentence?" "I would, but would you?" The first is mentioned but you could count it as a use. In the second case you could omit the but and have the two words ...
Chris H's user avatar
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24 votes
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You won't catch the train if you don't/won't leave in time

As implied in the comments, the specific meaning of the two are slightly different (albeit both grammatically correct). It helps to break down the contractions. You will not catch the train if you ...
julianstanley's user avatar
17 votes

Can "would" be used twice in an English conditional sentence and still be grammatical?

George and Ira Gershwin have a great example for you: He'll build a little home That's meant for two, From which I'll never roam, Who would, would you? And so all else above I'm dreaming of the man I ...
KarlG's user avatar
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16 votes

Why do we say "I would appreciate it if you paid in cash," but not "I will appreciate it if you pay in cash"?

Conditional constructions are vastly more complex than the “first, second, third conditionals” teachers employ to introduce them. Now that you are dealing with expressions which do not conform to the ‘...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
12 votes
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how many conditional sentence types are possible?

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. ...
tchrist's user avatar
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10 votes

When to use "If I was" vs. "If I were"?

The rule is, if your hypothetical scenario suggests something that isn't true, use were: If I were stronger, I'd break your arm! (I'm not stronger.) If I were a flower, I'd go crazy! (I'm not ...
Kai Maxfield's user avatar
10 votes
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Why does this conditional feel wrong?

I've given he a name to make for easier reference: Bob sighed and replied quickly, as if he had had only a few seconds' time before John changed his mind. This sentence is not wrong but the ...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

"I wonder how my life would have been different had she lived"

There is no IF because she is using a different grammatical form, where you use "Had [subject] [past tense]" to indicate a past alternative that would have led to a different present. Like, "Had I ...
Oosaka's user avatar
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10 votes

If John had taken it, he would have let me know

In the context of the question posed by A, both 1 and 3 are grammatically correct, but 3 scans better, it has a nice rhythm, whereas A is a little bit abrupt and staccato. If either 1 or 3 are ...
Sunnyjohn's user avatar
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10 votes
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Omission of if in a conditional phrase

Yes, were there not is a an inverted conditional and means if there were not ("were" is subjunctive): Although conditional clauses are often called if-clauses, they don’t always include the ...
fev's user avatar
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10 votes
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Is "did" used conditionally, regionally or otherwise? e.g. "Did you want..." instead of "Would you want..."

This use of the past is called "attitudinal past" in A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Quirk et al.); the present can be used but the past introduces an element of politeness. ...
LPH's user avatar
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9 votes
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Usage of "if you would"

Your friend is misremembering technically correct grammar in the sense that many foreign ESL tests will require students to learn that English has three forms of conditional phrases: First ...
lly's user avatar
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9 votes

'If she would have studied hard"

Many people (Americans, at least), use this construction (would have + Past Participle), instead of past perfect (had + Past Participle), and with the same meaning. If she would have studied harder, ...
John Lawler's user avatar
9 votes

"If ​there is a god please help me"

If you say "if there were a God", you are revealing that you do not believe there is a God. Also unreal conditional cannot be combined with an imperative mood verb, which makes direct ...
fev's user avatar
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8 votes

If I were you vs. If I had been you

Technically, the phrase "If I were you" is not referring to the past. It's referring to a hypothetical situation in the present or the future (subjunctive). So, again, technically, it should be: ...
filistinist's user avatar
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8 votes

Can "would" be used twice in an English conditional sentence and still be grammatical?

You can use "would" twice in a sentence with no intervening words! Example: One does not ask, as Americans would: “Would you like something to drink?,” because social etiquette would require the ...
DavidPostill's user avatar
8 votes

Even if / Even though

The difference is whether the antecedent is factual (real) or hypothetical. Even if places the antecedent (we couldn’t manage without their help) in an irrealis mood: perhaps you can manage without ...
Lawrence's user avatar
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8 votes

Using two if-part in a sentence

The first if marks a closed interrogative (yes/no) subordinate clause, the equivalent interrogative main clause would be: Would she have smoked more of it if she had known it was to be her last? It ...
DW256's user avatar
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7 votes
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Non-conditional IFs

What you seem to be talking about here is the so called "biscuit conditional", from J.L. Austin's famous example "There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want them" There is an important ...
Roaring Fish's user avatar
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7 votes

Usage of "if you would"

The use of would in if-clauses is possible in polite and/or formal requests: It would be nice if you would help me in the kitchen. (Are you willing to help me in the kitchen?) (www.englisch-...
user 66974's user avatar
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7 votes

Do people in Britain use this structure nowdays? Or is it considered archaic there?

Yes, that is a normal construction to me. It is effectively the past of If I were a boy. If I were a boy, I would roam... is a counterfactual in the present. If I had been a boy, I would have roamed......
Colin Fine's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

If John had taken it, he would have let me know

Both 1 and 3 are grammatically correct, but I would take them to describe subtly different things. If John took it, he would have let me know. This is a statement of expectation. To put it into a ...
Glen O's user avatar
  • 194
6 votes

"I wonder how my life would have been different had she lived"

Grammar I wonder how my life would have been different had she lived. In English, conditional adjuncts look like interrogative clauses. We can use if-clauses, which look like subordinate closed ...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
6 votes

Can "would" be used twice in an English conditional sentence and still be grammatical?

I realize the question is about conditionals. However, you can have "would" directly after "would" if you have a noun phrase ending with "would" that serves as the subject of your sentence, e.g.: He ...
Areté's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes

Which is the correct conditional? 'threats if they don't…' or 'threats if they didn't…'

First, Second, Third, or Nth Conditional are terms that have been made up by certain teachers of English as a Foreign Language, most of whom are not native speakers of English. They are used only by ...
John Lawler's user avatar

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