67

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 should probably not attempt this. Explanation The asker appears to be looking for a counterexample to the simplistic “rule” sometimes taught to English ...


57

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 subordinating conjunction if normally contain two clauses, each with its own subject and verb. The question asks what to do about the past-tense be verb in the “if”...


47

I can think of five hundred ways to destroy him: how I would would not be a problem. Disclaimer: Not a native speaker.


40

Both are fine. However, the first response is the most common way to answer. Very empathetic people might say my mum. Turn the sentence around; would you say "I'd apologize to your mum if I were you" or "I'd apologize to my mum if I were you"? Probably the former. If I were you, I'd... is a common way to give someone advice; it is not meant to be ...


33

"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 consecutive with only a comma in between.


26

You offended your mom. So if I were you, I would apologize to your mom when she gets home. But: You offended my mom. So if I were you, I would apologize to my mom when she gets home.


25

The rule you have been told has some validity, but is too general. English speakers don't use a will with simple future meaning after if: If the plan succeeds, I will come. not *If the plan will succeed, I will come. But will can also convey intention or willingness, so with an animate subject (especially second person) will can work If you ...


24

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 do not leave on time This phrase is neutral in its blame: not catching the train will happen if you, for whatever reason, do not leave on time. You will not ...


21

It is elliptical: a main clause like [have some] or [please take some] has been left out. I made sandwiches; [have some] if you want some. It is akin to requests like these: Please come with me; if you would be so kind [I would be much obliged]. Ladies and gentlemen; if you will come with me [I will be most thankful]. Somewhat similar is this ...


20

This topic seems to come up with some frequency here. Your teacher was overgeneralizing, I'm afraid. It's not wrong to use will this way; it's just that it may not mean what you want it to mean. In the case you mention, it means that you are commenting on the possibility that you may be willing to go there, which sounds at least odd, and seems very unlikely ...


18

Over the years I've converted to the belief that what is important in language and grammar is that the communication is not unintentionally ambiguous, not that it satisfies any formal criterion. Whether you say your mum or my mum, no one is going to be confused by what you mean. So use whichever feels right to you. Compare to A: I just spent $5 on the ...


17

In your sentence as amended, send is without a doubt in the present indicative tense (and it is not a conditional sentence). In English, however, the present tense does rather more than express what’s going on in the present. To talk about something that’s going on right now, we generally use be + the –ing form of the verb which describes the action or state....


17

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 love. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGe-i7mRMes&feature=share


16

My guess is that you read a table something like this: Present Simple (I eat) habitually; in general. as a command Present Continuous (I am eating at this point at this point, continuously at a point in the future. Past Simple (I ate) at a point in the past. Past Continuous (I was eating) at a point in the past continuously etc... and found it ...


16

If 'when' is used to indicate a context in the future, the 'will' becomes redundant and 'when' is followed by the present form of whatever verb. In this case: when + subject + present simple , subject + future simple When I know the answer, I'll call you When he leaves for work, I'll telephone.


16

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 ‘canonical’ n-conditionals, you are ready to discard those pedagogical baby rules. The use of past-form would in the apodosis (consequence clause) does not ...


14

Would is conditional/hypothetical. Will is a modal verb used to form the indicative future tense. In both cases, a) and b) are both correct, and carry a different meaning. When would is used, it expresses a hypothetical situation, so: What would I do without you? ... asks a question about a hypothetical possibility - that I would be without you. ...


13

SUPPLEMENTARY to Colin Fine's answer: Colin Fine explains the most common use of will in if clauses, which is the use in your example. There are other such situations: when will is used emphatically in its habitual/insistent sense: If you will keep bothering me with questions you must expect some answers you don't like. when will is used in the ...


12

Yours is the correct option, but not because of clause order. The main difference is that you use if ... then I will, and your friend uses I would... if. Both the following are correct: If you don't fix the bug I will send you a patch. I will send you a patch if you don't fix the bug. However, replacing the will with would makes either one ...


12

One strange property of the perfect tense is that it refers to two times: the time in the past when the action was performed, and the time indicated by the auxiliary verb (to have). Depending upon usage, a sentence using the perfect tense can be more about present (or the time of the auxiliary verb) than it is about the past: A: Are you hungry? B: I have ...


12

Further to tchrist's answer, they're different, but it's more complicated than it looks. I want to play cricket: whether the option to play cricket is available or not, to play cricket is what I want to be doing right now. I don't want to be sitting at my boring office job wasting time on ELU; I want to play cricket, dammit. I would love to play cricket. I ...


12

Formal correctness is the wrong test in this case. The problem is that the referent is ambiguous -- are we speaking from within the conditional, or from outside it? "My mum" is interpreted differently in the two cases, since the meaning of "my" changes. "Your mum" is clear no matter which case one chooses. Whether I am you or not, your mum remains your mum....


11

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 following might be better: Bob sighed and replied quickly, as if he had only a few seconds before John would change his mind. The past perfect in the original ...


10

Your past perfect tense starts in the infinite past for any action, but it doesn't have to happen so. I include an illustration for the verb see in the past perfect from the following text, written around 2010, which is about a movie that was shelved in 1981, kept for two decades, but finally released around 2002. So, instead of two reference points on the ...


10

It's a complex situation. Sentences like the presenting one are clearly intended to urge, if not impose, some kind of behavior on the addressee (though the addressee in this case is only a generic you, the same sense as one, but faluting a couple levels lower). So in that they are like imperatives. However, it can be shown (as I do in my paper) that they ...


10

Even were he not to care himself. . . is an alternative way of saying Even if he were not to care himself . . . The stress in the clause would naturally fall on not. Another example is Were he to work harder, he might make a success of his business instead of If he were to work harder, he might make a success of his business. It is a rather literary form, ...


10

You have a mixed conditional, not a first conditional. Your sentence gives advice to another person, and is not a statement of you own personal purpose. If it rains, I will go tomorrow is a statement of what you would do given the condition of If it rains. If it rains, I would go tomorrow is advice given to another person as to their best actions given the ...


10

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 known things would turn out this way I never would have invented that time machine". It's equivalent to the "IF" form but it's less common and a bit more formal. ...


9

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 really a flower, though I've been called a pansy before.) If my room were clean, it would be a first. (My room isn't clean.) If it may be true, use was:...


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