The conditional - Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri

The conditional - Verkmenntaskólinn á Akureyri

CONDITIONAL SENTENCES Conditional sentences consist of two clauses a main (conditional) clause containing a verb in a form with will or would, and a subordinate clause that is introduced by if. Examples: Joan will help you if you ask her. If I were you, Id buy a cheaper car. order of clauses can be changed. Whenever we begin with the subordinate clause, we normally use a comma (as in 2nd example)

Cond. Contd. Ill turn on the heating if it gets dark. If it gets dark, Ill turn on the heating. If is barely pronounced in casual conversation. The vowel /i/ disappears entirely, and even /f/ is whispered. A phrase like If I were you is pronounced /faiwju:/. There are 4 types of conditionals: 1. Zero conditional sentences Form:

If clause Conditional clause If + present tense Present tense If I eat late at I normally have trouble night, sleeping. Conditional clause If clause

Present tense If + present tense Most cats purr If you tickle them under the chin Use of zero conditional To express general truths. e.g. If you boil water, it evaporates. Habits e.g. If I drink coffee, I get headaches.

2. Type 1 (first or future conditional) If clause Conditional clause If + present tense Future tense If you help me with my essay, Ill tidy up your

room. Conditional clause If clause Future tense If + present tense Hell get here early If he catches the fast train.

first type basic usage Persuasion: e.g. Ill take the children to the party if you collect them from school. Warning: e.g. If you try to take a short cut, youll get lost. Threat: e.g. If you poke your sister again, Ill thrash you. First type other forms

If + present, imperative (to give advice and instructions) e.g. If you go to Hagkaup, bring back a carton of cream please. Present continuous: Were staying at home on Tuesday if the transport strike goes ahead. Going to: Were going to build a house if the

bank gives us a loan. Present perfect: If it hasnt rained by the weekend, well have to water the garden Present continuous: If theyre watching TV, they wont hear you. 3. Type 2 (2nd, hypothetical or unreal conditional) Used to refer to or speculate about sth. that is impossible or contrary to fact (unreal present condition) Type 2 conditional sentences can refer to the present or the future.

Type 2 basic form Time If clause referenc e Conditional clause Present: If he didnt annoy me so much, Id spend more

time in his office. Future: Id go there right away. If I got an invitation, Type 1 vs type 2 Both type 1 and 2 conditionals can refer to the future. Compare:

type 1: If it gets colder tonight, Ill turn on the heating. (a real possibility) type 2: If it got colder tonight, Id turn on the heating. (not a real possibility) Type 2 notes In the if clause use were in place of was. (N.B. was can be heard in spoken English) e.g. Id be able to find the information if I were at home. Use the idiom if I were you to

express advice. e.g. If I were you, Id see a doctor. Type 2 other forms Should is often used after I and we. e.g. I shouldnt get to sleep at all if I lived next to that noise. Should in official/commercial correspondence. e.g. I should be grateful for an early response to my letter. Type 2 other forms contd. Were + infinitive (makes the even more

hypothetical or the statement more tentative, therefore, more polite) e.g. If the river were to rise above the height of the flood barrier, there would be absolutely nothing we could do to save the city. Were + subject : Were you to accept my offer, Id personally oversee arrangements Type 2 other forms contd. If + would (In US English, would is often used in the if clause.) e.g. Id eat something if I wouldnt have indigestion.

4. Type 3 (third or past conditional) If clause If + past perfect Conditional clause would + have + past participle If we had hurried, we wouldnt have missed the train.

Type 3 contd. Conditional clause If clause Would + have + past participle If + past perfect I would have (wouldve) been more sympathetic,

if she hadnt accused me of lying. Type 3 - usage Used to speculate about past events, and about how things that happened or didnt happen might have affected other things Often used to express reproach and regret. e.g. If you hadnt driven so fast, you would never have had the accident. I wouldnt have left my job if Id known how difficult it is to find another one.

Type 3 usage contd. Type 3 conditional is also used to make excuses. e.g. If I hadnt been held up by the traffic jam, I wouldve been here on time for the meeting. Type 3 other forms Many native speakers use a non-standard variant of the Type 3 conditional. If clause Conditional clause

If + had have + past participle Would + have + past participle If theyd have arrived on time. Id have let them into the cinema. conjunctions

Other conjunctions are used instead of if. These include: supposing, as long as (Type 1&2); provided, on condition (that), unless (all types) e.g. Where will you go supposing you have a holiday? I would help him as long as he asked me nicely. I wouldnt have come round unless youd phoned and asked me to. Modal verbs in conditional sentences Zero conditionals We can use a modal verb in either or

both clauses of a zero conditional e.g. If you have a ticket , you can go through now. You should wear glasses if you cant see. Modal verbs contd. Type 1. We can use may, might and could to show that something is a possible consequence (rather than a certain one) e.g. I can bring something to eat if you want. If you listen to me carefully, you may

learn something useful. Modal verbs contd. Type 2 and 3 might and could in place of would in Type 2&3. e.g. If you explained more clearly, I might understand. If we hadnt worked so hard, we couldve missed our deadline. Will and would in if clauses would (like) may appear in the if clause

where the meaning is similar to want. e.g. If you would like to sit down, please help yourself to a seat. Will can be used in the if clause where the meaning is similar to be perpared to/be willing to e.g. If youll wait a minute, the doctor will be here to see you. Will and would in if clauses contd. Will and would can suggest perverse (sispilltur) and deliberate behaviour

(normally stressed) e.g. If you will argue with everyone, you cant expect to be popular. If you wouldnt take so much time off, you might earn more. Mixed conditionals Things we did in the past may have present consequences, and equally these past events may be the result of present facts. Look at this situation: Past action: You wasted money last week.

Present consequence: We cant afford a good holiday. Mixed conditionals contd. If clause (Type 3) If you hadnt wasted so much money last week, Main clause (Type 2) Wed be able to afford a better holiday.

Mixed conditionals contd. Present (general) fact: I am very busy. Past consequence: I wasnt able to take off any time last week. If clause (Type 2) Main Clause (Type 3) If I werent busy. I couldve taken off

a few days last week.

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