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What's the difference between the sentences? Options
DavidLearn
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 4:44:14 AM

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Joined: 1/27/2014
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Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Hi teachers,
Are both sentences correct? If so, what's the difference?
1. If the weather had been nice today, they would have gone to the beach.
2. If the weather were nice today, they would go to the beach.

Thanks.
thar
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:03:11 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Neurons: 58,937
Yes, they are different.

1

Would have gone.
Past tense.
The weather was nice, so they have gone to the beach.
The weather wasn't nice, so they haven't gone.

2 would go
No tense, just an infinitive.
It doesn't work. It is not a complete sentence.

It is hypothetical, so make it real.
In the absence of tense, what does it mean?
The weather is nice, so we go the the beach.

That can be an habitual action, but that is not hypothetical.

So that only works as a future plan.

The weather is nice so we will go to the beach.


Past plan conditional.
They decided that if the weather were nice, they would go to the beach.

You know it can't be past events, because that would be a past habitual action. Not hypothetical.
If the weather was nice, they would go to the beach.
The weather was nice all that summer, so they went to the beach every day.
DavidLearn
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:08:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/27/2014
Posts: 2,927
Neurons: 20,885
Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Hi thar,
Thanks for the explanations. I think the problem is that I talk about the weather and my sentence gets worse because of the word "now" which suggests immediate present.
I understand the problem in my sentence. I'll change it. Would this one be right?
1. If I had a problem, I would ask for your help. Whistle
Explanation. Which one is right?
1. I won’t ask for your help because I don’t have a problem now, but if I have one I will ask for your help.
2. I don't have a problem right now, so I don't need your help.

Even though the second conditional can talk about the present too, I think it very often talks about the future.
Example:
If she went, I would see her.
The sentence suggests that she's not likely to go, but that if she did go (at some moment in the future), I would see her. Right?

Best,
David.
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:24:50 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 7,848
Neurons: 24,556
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
DavidLearn wrote:
Hi teachers,
Are both sentences correct? If so, what's the difference?
1. If the weather had been nice today, they would have gone to the beach.
2. If the weather were nice today, they would go to the beach.

Thanks.


Each sentence is correct, yet each sentence has its own meaning.

Quote:

1. If the weather had been nice today, they would have gone to the beach.


This expresses the sense that this day, today, has passed, and the opportunity to go to the beach has passed with the time.

Quote:

2. If the weather were nice today, they would go to the beach.


This expresses the sense that the current understanding of the weather is unknown, and that knowledge shall be improved over time.

Think


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
DavidLearn
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:33:06 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/27/2014
Posts: 2,927
Neurons: 20,885
Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Thanks for you help too, leonAzul.

Best,
David.
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